Nutrition Assignment Ideas

Nutrition Month Journaling Ideas—

These 53 journal prompts have a dual purpose—they offer productive beginnings for journal entries, but they also celebrate Good Nutrition Month.

Students will consider the importance of eating healthily, and they’ll think about specific ways to improve their diets. Questions about vegetarianism challenge students to think about alternative ways of eating, while prompts about family eating habits allow them to consider making dietary changes.

 Writing Prompts | 53 Writing Ideas about Good Nutrition Month

During Good Nutrition Month, help students learn about healthy eating through a balanced diet of daily journal prompts!

  1. Why do we need to have balanced diets?
  2. How will eating healthily now affect your body in the future?
  3. What do you think of when you think about healthy foods?
  4. How will you celebrate Good Nutrition Month?
  5. Is there anything about nutrition that you would like to learn more about?
  6. How could you eat more healthily?
  7. Why do our bodies need nutrition?
  8. How can people with little access to food be properly nourished?
  9. Do you ever cook with your family?
  10. Describe a day of your normal meals.
  11. How do you feel after eating a healthy meal?
  12. If you could make your own balanced diet, what would it include?
  13. What is your favorite healthy food?
  14. If you were a fruit, which one would you be?
  15. How much water do you drink each day?
  16. How do you feel when you think of animals as food?
  17. Do you prefer fruit or vegetables? Why?
  18. Could you ever be a vegetarian?
  19. How does a person’s diet affect his or her overall health?
  20. What is your favorite food group?
  21. Are diet and exercise both important? Is one more important than the other?
  22. Does your family have any special dietary rules?
  23. What are some of your favorite healthy snacks?
  24. Do you have a balanced diet?
  25. Write a poem about the food groups.
  26. What tips for healthy eating would you give to someone interested in changing his or her diet?
  27. When is it okay to have treats?
  28. How often do you eat during the day?
  29. Record everything you eat for a week. What do you notice about your eating habits?
  30. Are there any foods you eat just because they are healthy?
  31. How does nutrition influence wellness?
  32. Do you eat until you’re full or until your plate is clear?
  33. Should anything in your normal diet change?
  34. What do you do when you encounter foods you don’t like?
  35. Do you get to choose what you eat, or do your parents determine your meals?
  36. What do you think of the food pyramid?
  37. How can you encourage your family to honor Good Nutrition Month?
  38. If you had to eat fruit or vegetables every day for the rest of your life, which would you choose?
  39. How can you inject more color into your diet?
  40. Write a poem about the importance of eating healthily.
  41. Why doesn’t junk food grow on trees?
  42. Would you rather be a vegetarian or a vegan?
  43. What is your favorite meal?
  44. How often do you eat meat?
  45. How do you feel when you eat too many sweets?
  46. How do Americans eat differently than people in other countries?
  47. Why is hydration important?
  48. Does your family eat meals together?
  49. Why are processed foods unhealthy?
  50. Do you know of any alternate ways to get nutrients?
  51. Why do you want to eat healthily?
  52. What are five ways you could improve your overall diet?
  53. What have you learned from Good Nutrition Month?

Just as students need balanced diets to keep their bodies healthy, they also need to study a full range of subjects in order to improve their minds. Journaling is a beneficial practice for both young and old students, as it provides them with a healthy outlet for thoughts and emotions that might otherwise go unexpressed. A student’s journal is a safe place for him or her to explore ideas and articulate thoughts without judgment.

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Time RequiredVery Long (1+ months)
PrerequisitesThis science fair project requires you to either have basic knowledge of good nutrition or be willing to spend some time learning about good nutrition. You will also need to collect parental permission from all people participating in this science fair project before beginning.
Material Availability Readily available
CostVery Low (under $20)
SafetyAdult supervision is required.


Thinking about improving your sports performance? Want to help friends and family make the most of their physical fitness activities? One factor to consider is food! Whether you realize it or not, what you eat does change your body! It affects how you feel, and can even change how you perform in sports. This science fair project will help you explore the link between what goes in your mouth and what your legs and arms can do.


Determine if healthy eating has an effect on physical fitness.


Created by the following Schering-Plough employees: Jamie Furneisen, Maria-Christina Malinao, and Sheela Mohan-Peterson

Edited by Sandra Slutz, PhD, and Teisha Rowland, PhD, Science Buddies

Cite This Page

MLA Style

Science Buddies Staff. "You Are What You Eat!" Science Buddies. Science Buddies, 27 Oct. 2017. Web. 10 Mar. 2018 <>

APA Style

Science Buddies Staff. (2017, October 27). You Are What You Eat!. Retrieved March 10, 2018 from

Last edit date: 2017-10-27

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How does Michael Phelps swim so fast? How does David Beckham bend those kicks? How do Venus and Serena Williams keep winning tennis tournaments? Training and determination are big parts of their success, but eating right also plays an important part in their performances.

It is very important to have a balance of foods from the five different food groups every day. What are the five food groups? They are: grains, vegetables, fruits, dairy (like milk or yogurt), and proteins (found in fish, poultry, beans, nuts, red meat, and cheese). It is even more important to know how much of each food type you should eat, especially when you are going to spend a lot of energy playing sports. For example, making about 30% of your plate vegetables is healthy, but it is important to avoid eating lots of fats or sugars. So smothering your vegetables in a fatty cream sauce might not be a good idea! For more information about what makes a balanced diet, take a look at the healthy eating poster in Figure 1, below, from and the references in the Bibliography, below. In general terms, it is recommended to eat a balanced amount of the five different food groups every day to have a balanced diet.

Figure 1. Each of the five different food groups are represented in this nutrition guide, with four groups represented on the plate and the fifth group (dairy) represented in the cup. The amount of space that each food group takes up on the plate or in the cup indicates how much of that food group you should eat compared to the other food groups. MyPlate was created by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in 2011. (, 2011)

Good nutrition is not just about what foods you eat, it is also about when and how you eat them. We are all told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. This is especially true for young athletes. Eating the right foods, first thing in the morning, will give you energy for sports; school; and a fun, full, and busy day. Lunch helps re-energize you for the afternoon, and dinner helps your muscles recover from all of your activities. Healthy snacks in between breakfast and lunch, as well as between lunch and dinner, will keep your energy level high to help you succeed.

In this science fair project, you will explore the connection between eating healthy foods and improving sports performance. You and a group of friends will form two test groups. Both groups will measure their physical fitness at the beginning of the experiment. Then the first group will try to eat as healthily as possible and follow the food pyramid recommendations, while the second group will continue to eat their normal diet. After four weeks, both groups will measure their physical fitness again. Do you think eating healthily will change the physical fitness levels of the people in the first group? What will happen to group number two's fitness levels? Get ready to find out if picking the right foods and the right amounts of each food can help you become a better athlete. Maybe one day we will see you with an Olympic gold medal around your neck!

Terms and Concepts

  • Food group
  • Dairy
  • Proteins
  • Fats (including monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, saturated, and trans fats)
  • Sugars
  • Nutrition
  • Quantify
  • Cholesterol
  • Sodium
  • Portion size
  • Calories
  • Daily calorie limits
  • Carbohydrates
  • Oil
  • Trend


  • How much of each food group should someone your age eat? How many calories does your body need?
  • Make a sample daily menu that meets good nutrition standards.
  • What kinds of foods do you see people eating that are unhealthy? Name some tasty, but healthy, alternatives.
  • How can you use nutrition labels on foods to find out if a food has lots of fat or sugar in it?
  • What are the differences between "good fats" (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats) and "bad fats" (saturated and trans fats)?


These websites contain more information about what qualifies as good nutrition:

  • United States Department of Agriculture. (n.d.). MyPlate Kids' Place. Retrieved August 30, 2013, from
  • Kennedy, S. (2008, September). You Are What You Eat: A Guide to Living Right, Eating Right and Playing the Right Way. USA Hockey Magazine, Issue 09-08. Retrieved August 30, 2013, from
  • (n.d.). Nutrition & Fitness Center. Retrieved November 14, 2008, from

To do this science fair project you will need to track what you eat, using this website:

You can use these resources as nutritional guidelines for doing this science project:

  • United States Department of Agriculture. (n.d.). Food Groups. Retrieved August 30, 2013, from
  • United States Department of Agriculture. (2011, June.). Build a healthy meal: 10 tips for healthy meals. Retrieved August 30, 2013, from
  • United States Department of Agriculture. (2011, June). Let's eat for the health of it. Retrieved August 30, 2013, from
  • Harvard School of Public Health. (2011). The Nutrition Source: Healthy Eating Plate. Retrieved August 30, 2013, from

For help creating graphs, try this website:

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Materials and Equipment

  • Volunteers (at least 6, including yourself). All the volunteers should be about your age.
  • Consent forms, one for each volunteer. See the Experimental Procedure for more details.
  • Any necessary equipment for the five activities you choose. See the Experimental Procedure for more details.
  • Stopwatch
  • Computer with Internet access. Each volunteer needs to be able to use the Internet on a daily basis.
  • Scale
  • Tape measure
  • Graph paper
  • Lab notebook

Remember Your Display Board Supplies

Remember Your Display Board Supplies

Experimental Procedure

Working with Human Test Subjects

There are special considerations when designing an experiment involving human subjects. Fairs affiliated with Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) often require an Informed Consent Form (permission sheet) for every participant who is questioned. Consult the rules and regulations of the science fair that you are entering, prior to performing experiments or surveys. Please refer to the Science Buddies documents Projects Involving Human Subjects and Scientific Review Committee for additional important requirements. If you are working with minors, you must get advance permission from the children's parents or guardians (and teachers if you are performing the test while they are in school) to make sure that it is all right for the children to participate in the science fair project. Here are suggested guidelines for obtaining permission for working with minors:

  1. Write a clear description of your science fair project, what you are studying, and what you hope to learn. Include how the child will be tested. Include a paragraph where you get a parent's or guardian's and/or teacher's signature.
  2. Print out as many copies as you need for each child you will be surveying.
  3. Pass out the permission sheet to the children or to the teachers of the children to give to the parents. You must have permission for all the children in order to be able to use them as test subjects.

Gathering the Data

  1. To start this science fair project, you will need to find a group of volunteers, and their parents, who are willing to take part in the experiments.
    1. You will need at least 6 people, including yourself, but more is better. An even number of volunteers works best. The volunteers' parents should not be included in this number.
    2. All the volunteers should be about your age.
  2. Divide the volunteers into two even groups, called Group 1 and Group 2.
  3. Group 1 will be trying to eat healthily and will follow the recommendations from the healthy eating poster shown in Figure 1 in the Background from The following resources can be used as nutritional guidelines for using the poster and doing this science project:
    1.'s resource Food Groups
    2.'s resource Build A Healthy Meal: 10 Tips for Healthy Meals
    3.'s resource Let's Eat For the Health of It
    4. Harvard School of Public Health's resource The Nutrition Source: Healthy Eating Plate
  4. Group 2 will continue to eat their normal diet.
  5. Make sure each volunteer has permission from his or her parents to take part in the science fair project. With the help of a teacher or other adult, create a permission slip (also called a consent form). The permission slip should briefly describe this science fair project and should be signed by the parent(s) of each volunteer participating in the project.
    1. Consent forms are always required for projects where human subjects take part in an experiment.
    2. Because you will be gathering personal data from other people (their daily food intake and sports scores), your local science fair may want you to get pre-approval from the fair before starting your project. Consult this guide on Projects Involving Human Subjects for more details, or contact the people in charge of the science fair you are entering.
  6. Pick five physical activities that you can use to measure the athletic progress of each volunteer. You can pick any physical activity that can be timed or quantified in some way. Some possible activities include:
    1. Number of sit-ups done in 1 minute
    2. Number of jumping jacks done in 1 minute
    3. Number of push-ups done in 1 minute
    4. Time it takes to run the 50-yard dash
    5. Time it takes to run the 100-yard dash
    6. Time it takes to run a half mile
  7. On the first day of your experiment, measure the physical fitness level of each volunteer on all five of the physical activities. Be sure to give them a break between each activity. Record their results in a data table, like Table 1 below, in your lab notebook.

    (#1 or #2)
    # of Sit-ups Done in 1 Minute # of Jumping Jacks Done in 1 Minute# of Push-ups Done in 1 MinuteTime It Takes to Run 50-yard DashTime It Takes to Run a Half Mile
    First DayLast Day First DayLast DayFirst DayLast DayFirst DayLast Day First DayLast Day

    Table 1. This is an example of what the physical fitness data table should look like. You can use any five quantifiable physical activities you choose. Make sure to fill in each volunteer's data on both the first and last day of the experiment.

  8. Every day for the next four weeks, have each volunteer (in both groups) keep track of how healthily they are eating by entering the food they ate online at the SuperTracker webpage.
    1. To create a personal food log, each volunteer will need to create a profile and register with the website.
      • During registration, each volunteer will need to enter his or her approximate weight and height. Use the scale and tape measure to determine these measurements.
    2. Once registered, each volunteer should use the "Food Tracker" menu option from the "Track Food & Activity" tab at the top to keep track of the foods he or she has eaten that day.
    3. After entering all the foods eaten on a particular day, each volunteer should check the graph on the right that has "Total Percentage of Target" labeled on the bottom of it, along the x-axis. Each volunteer should see whether they are close to the "100% of target" for each of the five food groups listed. Specifically, each volunteer should see whether they are within 25% of the target range. If they are within 25% of the target for a given food group, they should score 1 point for that food group.
      1. For each of the five food groups, each volunteer should see if they are between 75% and 125% of the target. If they are, this means they are within 25% of the target (which is marked as 100%). For each food group that they are within 25% of the target, give the volunteer 1 point.
      2. For each of the five food groups, if a volunteer is less than 75% of the target, or more than 125% of the target, then they are not within 25% of the target. For each food group that they are not within 25% of the target, give the volunteer 0 points.
      3. Each volunteer should fill out a data table, like Table 2 below, for every day of the experiment, showing how healthy his or her diet was. In the end, they should add up all the points to calculate their "daily dietary score." The higher the daily dietary score, the healthier they ate that day. A perfect score for one day would be a 5, since this means they would have been within 25% of the target for each of the five food groups.
      4. Note: You may want to provide each of your volunteers with a pre-made data table for them to fill out.
      5. Note: Nutrition is a complex subject. It is not necessary for doing this science project, but to improve your understanding of the subject you may want to look into other dietary factors, such as cholesterol, sodium, portion size, calories, daily calorie limits, carbohydrates, and oils.

    Volunteer's Name: __________________     Volunteer's Group (#1 or #2): ________
    Dietary Guideline
    Recommendations for:
    Daily Score
    Day 1Day 2Day 3Day 4Day 5Day 6
    Dairy (Milk & Yogurt)      
    Protein (Meats & Beans)      
    Daily Dietary Score
    (add together all points above):

    Table 2. Each volunteer should fill in a diet data table, like this one, for every day of the experiment. For each food group that they are within 25% of the target for that day, the volunteer scores 1 point. For each food group that they are not within 25% of the target for that day, the volunteer scores 0 points.

  9. Volunteers in Group 1 should try to maximize their daily dietary score by eating as healthily as possible. Volunteers in Group 2 can continue to eat their normal diet. Both groups should track their daily diet every day, as described in step 8, for 4 weeks.
  10. At the end of week four, re-test the physical fitness level of each of your volunteers. Have them try the same physical activities, as in step 7. Record their new scores in a data table, like Table 1 above, in your lab notebook.

Analyzing the Data

There are many different ways to graph and analyze your data from this science fair project. You should think about the questions you want to answer and which types of graphs might help you discover those answers. Below are a couple of data-analysis options to get you started.

  1. Using the graph paper, make a line graph, one for each volunteer, showing his or her daily dietary score over the course of the whole experiment.
    1. If you need help graphing, or would like to use the computer to make your graphs the Create a Graph website may be helpful.
    2. Look at your graphs. What happened to the daily dietary scores for each volunteer over the course of the experiment? Did they increase, decrease, or stay the same? Was the trend the same or different for volunteers in Group 1 versus Group 2?
  2. Make bar graphs showing the volunteers' scores on each physical activity.
    1. Make one graph for each physical activity. You should have a total of five bar graphs.
    2. Graph each volunteer's first and last day scores next to one another.
    3. Make the bars representing data from Group 1 volunteers one color, and the bars representing data from Group 2 volunteers another color.
    4. Look at your graphs. What happened to the physical fitness level of each volunteer? Did it increase, decrease, or stay the same? Was the trend the same or different for volunteers in Group 1 versus Group 2?
  3. Based on all your data and graphs, what can you conclude about the effects of healthy eating on athletic performance?

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  • Does diet affect academic progress? Modify the Experimental Procedure to determine if a healthy diet helps improve test scores or grades.
  • Rather than tracking the effect of diet on athletic performance, track the effect of music on athletic ability. Have one group listen to fast, upbeat music, while the second group listens to slow music or no music at all when they exercise. Make sure each group exercises daily and track their physical fitness on a weekly basis.
  • See if diet changes how you sleep. Do you sleep better with a healthy diet? Do you think your sleep would be better if you added exercise? Design an experiment to find out! Hint: You'll need to figure out a way of quantifying how well a person slept. One way would be to design a sleep survey for people to fill out. For more information about surveys, try the Designing a Survey guide.
  • In addition to investigating daily limits for the five different food groups, there are a lot of other nutritional aspects you could investigate in a group of people to see whether it affects their overall health and performance, such as amount of sugar, sodium, and oils consumed. To get some ideas of other dietary factors to explore, try re-reading the Introduction and investigating the Terms and Concepts in the Experimental Procedure.
  • One nutritional factor that people try to monitor for different reasons is sugar. There are several Science Buddies science fair project ideas you could check out that explore the amount and types of sugar that are in different foods and how the body digests them, including:

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Related Links

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