What skills do we have to make responsible choices about food?

About this Guide

This Second Level guide will help you to create activities around the wellbeing indicator of Responsible using the Food and Health section of the Health and Wellbeing curriculum.

Suggested HWB Experiences & Outcomes

HWB 2-35a


When preparing and cooking a variety of foods, I am becoming aware of the journeys which foods make from source to consumer, their seasonality, their local availability and their sustainability.

HWB 2-37a

I can understand how advertising and the media are used to influence consumers.

Suggested Learning Intentions

  • To extend knowledge and understanding of local and global issues affecting food choice.
  • To understand key aspects of food marketing and advertising and how this can influence what they choose to eat.

Suggested Success Criteria (I Can…)

HWB 2-35a

Describe the journey of food from source to plate.

Discuss/debate issues related to importing and exporting food from and to other countries.

HWB 2-37a

Identify at least three tactics used by advertising companies to influence the sale of their products.

Apply my knowledge of media bias to make informed decisions.

Suggested Learning Experiences

Food and the Consumer

  • Make a fruit salad or smoothie– use maps/atlas etc to find out the ‘food miles’ the different fruits have travelled.  Investigate which foods have travelled the furthest.  Discuss/debate issues related to food miles and the effects on the economy and environment eg, cost; fossil fuels.
  • Discuss/debate reasons for and against importing foods from other countries.
  • Conduct a food tasting session. Compare the same/similar products which have been sourced locally versus imported from abroad.
  • RHET work in partnership with teachers to enable real-life learning opportunities and will be able to organise a visit to a local farm to find out what is grown and when it is harvested. Classroom speakers are also utilised in order to supplement these visits or to reach classes that are unable to make it out onto working farms.
  • Investigate the range of shops in the local area – discuss the decline in local butchers/fishmongers in favour of larger supermarkets.  Consider the effect this may have on the local economy .
  • Investigate foods that are available or ‘in season’ at different times of the year and local to your area.  Prepare a dish using as many of these fresh, local, sustainable ingredients as possible.

Advertising and the Media

  • .Discuss/debate a range of food adverts considering who they are aimed at and the message they give to children.
  • Debate whether advertisements that promote unhealthy food should be banned from the TV/Magazines etc.
  • Discuss whether they think food companies would put profits ahead of the health of their consumers eg consider the claims of companies making bottled milk for babies..
  • In small groups, get the children to design their own breakfast cereal. Encourage them to look at successful breakfast cereals currently on the market. They need to develop an advertising campaign for their product and test these adverts out on pupils/staff from across the school. Encourage the children to use  many different ploys, already used by advertising companies, to encourage the sale of their products; BOGOF; collecting tokens, toys, healthy eating claims etc. Look at who had the most successful advertising campaign and why.

Suggested Cross-Curricular Links

LIT 2-17aLIT 2-29a

Devise an advertisement for a food product they have invented themselves. Use persuasive language to encourage people to buy it. Write a script / create a jingle / role-play / make posters for the product.

MNU 2-20b

Compile a list of current, up-to-date advertisements and conduct a class survey to find out the most popular and why.

TCH 2-04b

Using a range of reference books / websites, produce a poster / leaflet / power point presentation on the journey of one food product.

MNU 2-09a

Consider the different costs of food, drink and meals and use this to make informed choices. Compare the cost of food when planning to eat out or cook at home.

Suggested Word Bank

  • Local
  •  Global
  •  Choice
  •  Journey
  •  Product
  •  Carbon
  •  Footprint
  •  Import
  •  Seasonal
  •  Climate
  •  Produce
  •  Economy
  •  Rights
  •  Responsibilities
  •  Community
  •  Helping
  •  Choices
  •  Healthy
  •  Pressure
  •  Bias
  •  Informed
  •  Aware
  •  Products
  •  Advertising
  •  Encourage
  •  Support
  •  Marketing
  •  Packaging
  •  Media
  •  Influence
  •  Likes
  •  Dislikes