This pathfinder is created for high school students to explore the many aspects of food and nutrition. The goal of the this project is for students to investigate the components to human nutrition and how to apply that knowledge to understanding the food they consume. Using the resources in the pathfinder, students will compare their nutritional intake to that of their grandparents.



Science as Inquiry
  • Learner can formulate explanations from evidence

Understand and apply knowledge of the cell
Functions and chemical reactions
  • Enzymes catalyze reactions
  • Food molecules (macromolecules) break down to provide molecules for synthesis
  • Cell respiration breaks down complex molecules to provide energy


Understand and apply number operations and properties.
  • Students should solve problems with solutions involving natural numbers, integers, rational number, real numbers, and complex numbers. Students should understand adn apply the properties of the operations within the number systems.


Use a variety of strategies to understand unfamiliar vocabulary found in narrative text, technical reading adn literary text. Use structural analysis to decode words (prefixes, suffixes, inflectional endings).

Use a variety of strategies to understand the meaning of specialized and technical terms adn idiomatic and figurative terms.


Understand current social issues to determine how the individual is able to formulate opinions and responds to those issues.

Explain the impact of personal health behaviors on the functioning of body systems.


Demostrate functional health literacy skills to obtain, interpret, understand and use basic health concepts to enhance personal, family, and community health.

Demonstrate behaviors that foster healthy, active lifestyles for individuals and the benefit of society.
  • Establish healthy eating behaviors.


Key Search Terms and Subject Headings:

Human Nutrition, Nutrients, Food and Labeling, Calories, Carbohydrates, Vitamins, Minerals, Proteins, Food Pyramid, Enzymes, Food and Drug Administration, U.S. Department of Agriculture

Dewey Decimal Numbers:

612 Human Physiology
641 Food and Drink


Below is a list of resources that will give a starting point and lead you to a deeper understanding of human nutrition

World Book Online
Valley High School Electronic Resources
From School: World Book Online
You will need your school ID & Password
From School: Search World Book Advanced
From Home: Go to Electronic Resources and then World Book Advanced
This source is a good starting point. This is a General Encyclopedia, so it will give you basic
information about your topic. Start by searching for Nutrition and Calories in the basic search. Make
sure to check the full text button underneath the search instead of the keyword search. This will tell the database to search in the articles text for your phrase. Then go to the article titled "Nutrition."
Make sure to look in the left-side navigation bar for more information. There are topics such as
MyPyramid and terms used in food labeling. It also includes the types of nutrients in foods.
Britannica Online School Edition PreK-12
Rod Library: Britannica Online
You will need your school ID & Password
Databases A - Z
This source is also a good starting point to gain a basic understanding of human nutrition.
Start with the Advanced Search and search for Human Nutrition. This will result in information
about calorie intake, protein, nutrients, enzymes and types of food and their role in human nutrition.
The left-side navigation bar will give specific information about the types of nutrients and foods
involved in human nutrition.
World Book Online
Valley High School Electronic Resources
From School: World Book Online
You will need your school ID & Password
From School: Search World Book Advanced
From Home: Go to Electronic Resources, then World Book Advanced, and then under resources go to
This source can help you find defintions about the basic concepts of human nutrition. Look up the
words: calories, nutrition, proteins, enzymes, catalyst, carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins.
The Body Atlas New Edition
Publisher: Oxford (1991)
Call# R 612 Cro
West Des Moines Public Library
This atlas will give you the basic concept of food and the nutrients that food is broken into. This
is a good starting point to understand the different types of nutrients in foods. Look for the small
section labeled "food".
Jamie Oliver / Food Revolution
Jamie Oliver's Website
Biography in Context (Gale)
Rod Library: Gale Biography in Context
You will need your school ID & password
Databases A - Z
Jamie Oliver is a British cook, who is trying to improve the nutrition of people in Britain and the
U.S. Jamie is starting a campaign in America to change the nutritional value of school lunches and
the food served at home. His website and the Biography in Context will give you information
about his career and current Food Revoution.

To access his biography in the Gale Biography in context, search for Jamie Oliver.
Encyclopedia of Foods: A Guide to Healthy Nutrition
Publisher: Academic Press (2002)
Call #641.1 Enc
West Des Moines Public Library
This encyclopedia has a wealth of information about how to eat healthy.
You will want to use the index labeled "Nutrients in Foods." This index
lists a variety of foods and the amount of calories, nutrients, vitamins and
nutrients in each food. This could help you determine the nutrition in your
grandparents diet and in your own diet.
New Book of Popular Science
Publisher: Grolier (2008)
Call# YR 500N
Rod Library
This subject encyclopedia has information about how to read a food label and a description of
different types of nurients. Search for the topics of food, nutrients and food labeling. There is
a section that describes how to read a food label. This will be very helpful when evaluating the
nutrition in the food you eat.
Food and Nutrition
Publisher: Marshall Cavendish (2009)
Call# YR 641 F
Rod Library
This subject encyclopedia has detailed information about any type of food, nutrients, and food
labeling. You can use this source to find the calories and nutrients in any type of food. This will be
helpful to you when trying to determine what nutrients are in the foods your grandparents ate, and foods
that don't have food labels.
DK Encyclopedia of the Human Body
Publisher: DK Publishing (2002)
Call#R 612 Enc
West Des Moines Public Library
This subject encyclopedia is a good place to start in understanding nutrition and how the body
body processes energy. Look under Nutrition and Metabolism in the Table of Contents. There is a
pyramid and a description of the major types of viamins and minerals. There is also a section that
describes the break down of food into energy.
Encyclopedia of Food and Culture
Publisher: Gale/Scribner's (2003)
Call#Ref GT 2850.E53
This is a subject encyclopedia that is very detailed. It includes all information about the food industry,
food, nutrition, and food culture. This encyclopedia is a good source of information for finding the
amount of calories and nutrients in food. You can use this to help you determine the nutritional value
of the foods you and your grandparents eat.
McCall-Smith, A. (2007). The perfect hamburger and other
delicious stories. New York: Bloomsbury Children's Books.
Call# CF Mcc
This book is a series of short stories about different types of foods that children like to eat.
It would be interesting to be able to calculate the nutritional value of those foods.
Valley High School Electronic Resources
From School: EBSCO Databases
Articles Info.: Richards, S. (2009). The building blocks of a healthy
diet part 2. Practice Nurse, 38(4), 29-33. Retrieved from Academic
Search Elite database.
Cheskin, L., & Margolis, S. (2009). The basics of nutrition. Nutrition &
Weight Control fro Longevity, 2-5. Retrieved from Health Source
Consumber Edition databases.
Both of these articles describe eating healthy. Both have a break down of the calories and
nutrients in a variety of foods. Both articles will give you an idea of how nutrition affects the
health of an individual.
Valley High School Electronic Resources
From School: EBSCO Databases
Article Info.: (2010, March 18). Honest Food Labels.
New York Times. p. 30. Retrieved from Newspaper Source Plus database.
This is a short article on the changes in food labeling and the improvements that need to be made.
Food labeling has controversial issues and is continually changing. Look for the organizations
involved in developing food labeling policies. These organizations could be another place
to look for information.
DE United Streaming database
Valley High School Electronic Resources
From School:
Video Title: Standard Deviants School Human Nutrition: Introduction
to Nutrition
This video is an excellent starting point. It gives an introduction to nutrition that includes
the six basicnutrients (carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals and water).
It describes calories and emptycalories and kilocalories. It includes information
about how to read a food label and the food pyramid.
If you are having difficulty accessing these sources or if you
are cannot find the information by searching within theses sources,
I would love to help!