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Lesson 2: Micronutrients, Water, and Energy + Nutrient Density

Estimated Completion Time: ~45 Minutes

Materials Needed:

  • Lesson presentation provided above

  • Activity 1: Create Hunger Crushing Snack Demo

    • Snack example: Oreos, milk, fruit

  • Activity 2: Create a School Lunch Menu

  • Activity 3: Summary Card

  • Activity 4: Post Lesson Survey

Lesson Goals

  1. Learn about micronutrients and water

  2. Understand the individual concepts of processed foods and nutrient density; then, recognize the connection between them

  3. See some examples of making hunger crushing snacks by adding foods with certain nutrients that the snack was initially missing

  4. Use acquired knowledge to create a school lunch menu

Lesson 1 Review

Time: 5 min


Instructor(s) will ask the students if they remember the 3 macronutrients and their functions. 

Encourage students to talk among themselves for a moment before asking for volunteers to share. Go around each group and listen to their discussions.

Ask for a raise of hands. Reiterate the responses, correct any inaccuracies. 

Thoroughly review the 3 macronutrients on the next slide using the information below:


Carbohydrates: the 3 types are sugars, starches, and carbohydrates. Sugars and starches provide glucose, which is used as energy, while fibers do not break down and help foods pass more quickly through the stomach.


Proteins: help with muscle growth/repair, immune system support, weight management, and can be an energy source

Fats: the 3 types are unsaturated fats, saturated fats, and trans fats. make hormones, Vitamin D, and digestive substances.



Move on to the next slide


Explain what a nutrient is. State the nutrients on the slide

Chia Pudding

Topic 2: Energy density vs. nutrient density

Time: 5 min

Explain the difference between energy density and nutrient density. Note that nutrient-dense foods provide nutrients but less energy, while energy-dense foods provide more energy but less nutrients. It is possible to eat more nutrient-dense foods than energy-dense foods because they have more nutrients, not calories.



Visualizing energy density and nutrient density

(new slide)

Show the slide to the students and ask them what they notice. Feel free to take hands or encourage them to have a group discussion before taking hands.


Some things they may note include:

  1. The energy-dense meal is lacking some micronutrients, while the nutrient-dense meal has many nutrients

  2. The energy-dense meal has less food but contains more calories, while the nutrient-dense meal has more food but contains less calories


Be sure to mention that both types of foods can be beneficial, depending on the circumstance. When in need of quick energy, energy-dense foods are more effective, while to give the body nutrients, nutrient dense foods are more effective.

Topic 3: Processed food

Time: 5 min

State the definition of “processed.” Throughout this section, be sure to mention that processed does not necessarily mean unhealthy. There are different classifications of processed foods, with some being unhealthier than others. Unprocessed/minimally processed foods, processed culinary ingredients, processed foods, ultra-processed foods. Mention that eating too much ultra-processed foods can be unhealthy.


(new slide)

Read slide


(new slide)

State the advantages and disadvantages of processed foods.


(new slide)

Read slide

Food Photography

Topic 4: Hunger crushing snacks

Time: 10 min

It is encouraged that for this section, the instructor(s) prepare a balanced snack (ex: Oreos + fruits + milk) to show the students that healthy snacks are not necessarily going to disclude their current favorite foods. If a snack is prepared, the instructors should include their version of a healthy snack in the activity as well



(new slide)

Explain that in the activity, students should keep in mind what macronutrients the snack on the slide is missing, what it would taste good with, and what they have access to.


(new slide)

The macronutrients of the snack are included on the right side of the slide. It is missing protein and many micronutrients.


Ask the students which nutrients they think are missing. Take direct hands.


(new slide)

Explain the two snack examples on the slide. Emphasize that this is a healthier and more balanced snack, with the new nutrients added.


(new slide)

Ask the students which nutrients they believe are in a pack of Oreos (answer: carbohydrates, fats, sugar). Take direct hands.


(new slide) 

Reveal answers 


(new slide)

Explain the snack example on the slide. Emphasize that this is a healthier and more balanced snack, with the new nutrients added.

Activity 1: Creating personal menus

Time: 15 min

Link to printout

(new slide)

Explain the activity. 


In this activity, the students will build a menu item including their favorite food. They will list the ingredients in their favorite food, check off macronutrients that are already in it, and draw a picture/label more foods which can be added to make a nutritious meal with all macronutrients. 


Go to each group and provide help. The students may not know the ingredients or macronutrients of their favorite foods, so provide any help as necessary.


Summary Card (optional)

When the students are done with the activity, hand out the printed summary cards.


Link to summary cards

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