Nutrition Unit Plan for High School

Instructor: Shanna Fox

Shanna has been an educator for 20 years and earned her Master of Education degree in 2017. She enjoys using her experience to provide engaging resources for other teachers.

Exploring nutrition with your students can be an engaging journey from what makes up a healthy diet to how nutrients affect their body. In this unit plan, students will engage in lessons, activities, and projects that promote good nutrition.


The study of nutrition in your high school classroom does not have to simply include a run-down of good eating habits. This unit plan covers detailed information about nutrients, the components of a balanced diet, and the effect of nutrition on heart and bone health. Structuring your unit to include a wide array of lessons, activities, and projects can help you guide students through initial learning and knowledge application. You may also want to extend their learning to include malnutrition and how it affects the world or how the nutritional needs of an athlete differ from the average person.

Nutrition Overview

Before launching into the topic in detail, consider spurring student thinking and conversation by providing prompts from the ''Diet and Body'' section of these Essential Questions for Health. They can discuss their responses with partners, teams, or the whole class. Activating their knowledge in this manner can lead them into the remainder of the unit. If you want a baseline assessment, students can write their answers to one or more of the questions.

Next, provide an overview of the topic using this Nutrition Lesson Plan, which will help you teach students the essential vocabulary and concepts related to nutrition.


Explore macronutrients and micronutrients, as well as how they affect health, using this Nutrients Lesson Plan. For additional support, incorporate this Micronutrients Lesson Plan which explains the topic of micronutrients more thoroughly. Understanding the science behind nutrition is important before asking students to apply their knowledge to their nutritional habits.

Transition to how our diet affects nutrition by engaging students in this Food Groups & Nutrients Lesson Plan. This lesson plan helps you to provide students with an opportunity to apply their knowledge by analyzing their own diet and planning a menu of nutritional meals for a group of children. Build additional support by engaging students in this Reading Food Labels Lesson Plan. This lesson helps you give students practice in understanding the ingredients and nutrients in the food they consume.

As a wrap up to this unit segment, split students into groups. Bring in several boxes or cans of food for each team. Have students sort the food items into nutritional value, from greatest to least. They may struggle with this activity, but that's okay. It's not only a way for them to apply their knowledge; it also allows you to prepare them for the upcoming lesson about the components of a balanced diet.

Balanced Diet

Now it's time to get into the details of a balanced diet and how to improve their nutritional intake. Use this Balanced Diet Lesson Plan to provide an overview. Then, explore specific components of a healthy diet by utilizing the following resources:

Add in a segment about the use of dietary supplements. Use this Dietary Supplements Lesson Plan to familiarize students with the concept. To test their knowledge, provide teams with an example diet of an average teenager. They can analyze if the person has enough nutrition and determine if there is a need for dietary changes, nutritional supplements, or both.

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