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The Nutrient Database


USDA’s “Nutrient Database” will be the focus of research to identify which foods contain necessary nutrients and which foods grown in the garden are most nutrient dense or will meet specific nutritional needs.


Students will:

  1. Research the nutritional needs for their own age, height and weight.
  2. Use the USDA “Nutrient Database” to research nutritional composition for three fruits and/or vegetables.
  3. Select produce from the school garden that they believe contains the most nutrients.
  4. Create a ranking system to compare produce.
  5. Compare selected produce from the school garden.
  6. Identify produce that will help meet the nutritional needs most often lacking in their age group.
  7. Create a week of menus using produce from the school garden to meet their nutritional needs and a method to promote eating those foods.


  • Introduction: 20 minutes plus time to define vocabulary
  • Activity One: 45 minutes to one hour
  • Activity Two: 45 minutes to one hour
  • Activity Three: 45 minutes to one hour

Teaching Resources

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