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Food for Thought

School: High Tech Middle Chula Vista

City/State: San Diego, CA

Grade(s): 6

Format(s): Book, Cookbook

Subject(s): Health and Wellness, Mathematics, Science and Technology, Visual Arts

Project Overview

Sixth grade students at High Tech Middle Chula Vista in San Diego, California created this cookbook as part of a project focused on why and how to make healthy food choices.

Students first watched the film Food, Inc. to learn about food processing and childhood obesity. They took a trip to Olivewood Gardens to learn about the growing cycle of vegetables and the benefits of eating organic vegetables. After that they selected individual vegetables that are grown in their own school garden. The students created kid-friendly recipes for their vegetables by researching recipes and making tweaks to make the recipes their own. Recipes were peer-critiqued and also critiqued by the students’ families. They made the necessary calculations to determine the nutritional value of one serving of each recipe. A guest speaker worked with the students to produce professional photos of their recipes to include in the cookbook. Learning how to photograph food and considering lighting, photo techniques, and plating was an important component of this project.

To ensure that readers would be excited about using the cookbook, they completed “tons of research” and many rounds of critique to ensure the taste, health benefits, and creativity of each recipe. Each vegetable has its own chapter in the book. The nutritional information is provided with the hope that the users consider both the taste and the health benefits when using this cookbook.

The 114-page cookbook can be purchased at

How This Project Can Be Useful

  • Highlights the power of professional quality design and productions, which raises the overall quality of the product
  • Organization of content is creative and thoughtful
  • Provides a visual step-by-step introduction of how the project began
  • Includes back matter with written account of the process, photos, parent reflections, and nutritional index
  • A product/project that can be replicated in many communities
  • Genuinely useful product that has an authentic audience

Relevant Resources

Common Core State Standards

Standard Long Term Learning Target
  • EL has not created long-term learning targets for WHST standards.
  • EL has not created long-term learning targets for WHST standards.
  • EL has not created long-term learning targets for WHST standards.
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