5th Grade - Math

LESSON PROBLEM: Data Analysis: So, how much nutritional value does rice really have?


Good nutrition is important to keeping our bodies healthy. Health describes the general condition of our bodies. It's not always easy to nourish our bodies in the best way. We may often be tempted by foods that are not so nutritious. And with so many foods that say they are nutritious, how can you be sure? Luckily, there are guidelines to follow that have been prepared by our nation's top nutritionists. Today you will become familiar with the American Dietary Guidelines and the Food Guide Pyramid.

USDA Dietary Guidelines for Good Nutrition
1. Eat a variety of foods.
2. Exercise.
3. Choose a diet high in grain products. Grains are seeds from cereal grass.
4. Eat lots of vegetables and fruits.
5. Choose a diet low in fats and cholesterol. Cholesterol is an odorless, soft waxy substance that builds up in the blood stream. We make our own cholesterol, but if we don't eat healthy foods we can make bad cholesterol.
6. Use salt and sugars in moderation.

The other way we can check if what we eat is healthy, is by comparing it to the Food Guide Pyramid. This pyramid shows us the daily number of servings from each food group we should eat for a well balanced nutritional diet. Of course everybody's body is different! So, you don't have to stick to the exact servings of the pyramid everyday, but it is a good guide, so keep it in mind.

1. Bread, Cereal, Rice and Pasta: 6-11 servings

2. Vegetables: 3-5 servings

3. Fruits: 2-4 servings

4. Milk, yogurt, cheese: 2-3 servings

5. Meat, poultry, fish, dry beans, eggs and nuts: 2-3 servings

6. Fats, oils and sweets: eat sparingly

The base of the food guide pyramid is made up of the grain foods, including rice. Grains are filling and they give us energy, fiber, vitamins and minerals! Without energy, you would be too tired to pay attention in your lessons, and too tired to play. So you can understand why we need more grain servings in our diet than anything else. Let's take a closer look at one of the most common grains we eat: Rice! Let's see how nutritious rice is for you. Some people don't think rice has any nutrient value, but guess what, they are wrong!

Here are some statistics on Rice:

1. Rice is low in calories, just 103 calories in a 1/2 cup serving.

2. Rice is fat free.

3. Rice is a great source of complex carbohydrates.

4. Yes, rice is cholesterol free.

5. Rice has no sodium.

6. Rice is enriched with iron, niacin, thiamin and folic acid.

Here are some more nutritional values for rice.

Nutritional Values for 1/2 Cup of Cooked Rice
Protein (gms.)
Fat (gms.)
Carbohydrate: Total (gms.)
Dietary Fiber (gms.)
Calcium (mgs.)
Iron (mgs.)

You are probably wondering what rice is. Well, rice is the seed of a cereal grass, or grain, that is cooked and used for food. Rice is an important part of the human diet and is used to fuel our bodies. Complex carbohydrates are stored in the muscles as glycogen. When the body needs energy, the glycogen is converted to glucose, which provides the energy needed by the body. Rice also contains vitamins such as: thiamin, niacin and iron, and in the U.S., folic acid.

Rice is a great source of nutrition to any meal it compliments. Rice helps in fueling our bodies and because it contains no cholesterol, it helps us avoid a build up of bad cholesterol. Cholesterol can cause health problems, like heart disease. It is very important to learn how to eat and what to eat. And by eating rice you are starting out right!


Let's Graph:
Use a bar graph to answer the following question. What nutritional foods do you like? How much should you eat of the different types of foods?
Use the Food Guide Pyramid notes and do this with your friends. Remember you must graph your answers.


Create your very own rice cookbook. Get really creative and search the net for 10 neat rice recipes and write out their nutritional value. Then create a cookbook and make some great rice dishes to compliment the next meal you will enjoy.


  • nutrition
  • rice
  • health
  • grain
  • cholesterol
  • sparingly

Click here to play Rice Rampage!
Rice Farm Animals:
Rice farms have lots of animals. Click here to learn more about rice farms and the animals that live there.
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