BBC Home
Explore the BBC


Teachers: PSHE: Health influences

Last Updated: Wednesday September 28 2005 15:26 GMT

Healthy school food

PSHE 11-14/KS3/Levels E&F
Health influences


Burger, chips and drinks
Junk food is going to be banned from schools in less than a year, the government will announce.

This lesson promotes healthier eating by asking students to design a balanced school menu or a healthy snack vending machine.

It also contains an activity to make a colourful wall display.

Learning aims
  • Learn about food groups
  • Demonstrate a knowledge of healthy eating

School lunch

Read out this story to the class.

The story and following questions are available as a worksheet. Click on the link in the blue box.

Ask students:

1. How long do the government say it will take for bad food to be banned from schools? Less than a year. From September 2006.

2. What is the name of the government minister who looks after schools, including school meals? Education Secretary, Ruth Kelly.

3. What types of food will be banned? Foods high in salt, fat and sugar.

4. List some snacks and drinks that will be banned from vending machines. Chocolate, crisps, fizzy drinks.

5. What types of snacks and drinks are you likely to find in vending machines after September 2006? Milk, water, fruit.

6. What is the name of the government's study into school food? The School Meals Review Panel.

7. How much more money has the government already promised to spend on improving school meals? An extra 280 million.

Warm up

Food groups

Introduce the term healthy eating. Ask the class what they think it means.

ICT based activity

Burgers for lunch?

Students examine these photographs of fatty food or school meals sent in by children logging onto the Newsround website.

In pairs, students chose one picture and list all the food they can see in the photograph (one line per item).

Introduce the following food groups:

  • protein
  • carbohydrate
  • fat
  • vitamins
  • water
  • minerals
  • fibre
Next to each item in their list, students write down the main food group or groups contained in a particular food, for example:
  • Pizza - fat, carbohydrate
Although pizza also contains protein, water and minerals (in the vegetables), the principle food groups are fat (in the cheese) and carbohydrate (in the bread base). Two slices of pizza contain 23g of fat.

For more examples of how many grams of fat containedin different meals, click on the fatty food link in the blue box.

Non-ICT based activity

If students don't have access to the photographs on the Newsround website, they can make a list of the food typically available in their canteen, before listing the main food group(s) next to each item.

Some foods will be easier to classify than others.

Main activity

Design a healthy school menu or a snack vending machine


Jamie Oliver
Students imagine they are a TV chef, such as Jamie Oliver, designing a day's menu for a healthy school canteen.

They should make sure that foods like meat, fish, eggs and cheese that are needed for growth and those which provide energy like sugar, bread, pasta and rice are included in careful amounts.

They should be aware of foods that contain large amounts of sugars like sweets and jam and that they shouldn't include many of these.

By including fruit and vegetables they will show they know them to be essential components of a healthy diet.

Snack vending machine

Students draw and label a vending machine containing snacks and drinks which are low in sugar, fat and salt.

Some suggestions:

  • Milk
  • Fruit juice
  • Water
  • Fresh fruit
  • Dried fruit
  • Nuts
  • Yoghurt
  • Pretzels
  • Bread sticks
Wall display

Students collect wrappers from such snacks and use them to make a wall display of a giant healthy vending snack machine.

Extension activity

Students keep a diary of their food intake over a week for whole class analysis.


Recap on the different food groups.

Students present their designs for a balanced school meal or healthy snack vending machine. The class offer constructive feedback.

Turn this into an assembly

Health barometer.

Collect a range of packaging from foods to act as stimuli.

Label one side of the assembly room more healthy and the other less healthy.

Display each food package. After each, ask a group of four or five volunteers to stand between the two labels to show how healthy they think each food is.

In turn, each volunteer explains to the assembly why they decided to stand where they did.

Teachers' Background

For loads more information on healthy eating, click on the links in the top right of this page.

Alternatively, check out the additional resources in the blue box.

Norway school meal

Food group facts

Some foods (e.g. fish, meat, cheese and vegetables) provide materials necessary for healthy growth.

Other foods (e.g. starches and sugars) are more immediate sources of energy for activity.

Fruit and vegetables provide other essentials, like fibre.

Energy foods are of two types: carbohydrates (starches and sugars) and fats.

Curriculum relevance


2b. How to keep healthy and what influences health, including the media.
2f. To recognise and manage risk and make safer choices about healthy lifestyles.

The numbers refers to the National Curriculum KS3 guidelines for PSHE

For hundreds more news-based lessons, click on Teachers on the left hand side.

Healthy Living


Press Packs



Expert Advice

BBC Homepage >> | CBBC Homepage >>

Meet the Team | Help | Contact Us | News sources | Privacy & Cookies Policy