> Home > Teaching Support > Cross-curricular Perspectives > Healthy Eating

Healthy Eating - Year 8 Home Economics Unit Level 5

Introduction | Healthy Eating Unit Level 5 | Healthy Eating unit outline | Assessment tasks and links to the VELS | Resources | Show all


The purpose of this material is to identify the explicit connections Home Economics has within the curriculum as a means of affirming its value in the education of students.

Home Economics Education is described as having as its central focus the wellbeing of people in their everyday living. It involves the development of key knowledge, resources and capabilities which enable students to address increasingly complex challenges, including those related to human development and relationships, and the provision of commodities such as food, clothing and shelter.

Adapted from the website of the Home Economics Institute of Australia www.heia.com.au/heia_pages/understanding%20hec.asp

This material includes:

The material demonstrates the scope of Home Economics and will improve understanding of the subject area. It clearly demonstrates that Home Economics is not confined to one discipline but rather encompasses a diverse range of content and skills in the Physical, Personal and Social Leaning strand and Interdisciplinary Learning strand.

Year 8 Home Economics Healthy Eating Unit Level 5

The Level 5 Health and Physical Education, Personal Learning, Design, Creativity and Technology and Thinking Processes standards describe what students should know and be able to do at this level. The Home Economics Healthy Eating unit outline is designed to provide teachers with a multi-domain approach to the VELS. The VELS domains and elements of the dimensions addressed in this unit include:

Health and Physical Education

The element of the Health knowledge and promotion standards addressed in the unit are:

(Students) examine the factors that influence food selection and the role of nutrition on health, growth and development.

Personal learning

The elements of the Managing personal learning standards addressed in the unit are:

(Students) set realistic short-term and long-term learning goals within a variety of tasks and describe their progress towards achieving these.

They complete competing short, extended and group tasks within set timeframes, prioritising their available time, utilising appropriate resources and demonstrating motivation.

They review the effectiveness of the management of tasks, identifying successes and suggesting strategies that would improve outcomes.

They develop and use criteria to evaluate their work, and use these criteria to make appropriate refinements.

Design, Creativity and Technology

The elements of the Investigating and designing standards addressed in the unit are:

(Students) use various strategies and sources of information to investigate and research a range of factors relevant to more sophisticated design briefs to which they have contributed.

During the design process they clarify their understanding of design brief requirements and their design ideas …

They develop evaluation criteria from the design brief to inform their judgments during the design process.

They use a variety of drawing … techniques to visualise design ideas and concepts.

(Students) understand and logically sequence major stages of production, and calculate and list materials/ingredients and quantities needed for production.

The elements of the Producing standards addressed in the unit are:

(Students) work safely/hygienically with range of tools and equipment, including some which are complex; and manage materials/ingredients, components and processes to produce products …in meeting requirements of design briefs.

They make modifications during production, providing a sound explanation for changes that demonstrates reflection, research, responsiveness to feedback, and use of evaluation criteria.

The elements of the Analysing and evaluating standards addressed in the unit are:

(Students) select appropriate equipment and techniques to safely test and evaluate the performance of their products/systems.

They suggest modifications to improve their products/ systems in light of evaluation of their …function and appearance.

Thinking processes

The elements of the Reasoning, processing and inquiry standards addressed in the unit are:

(Students) use a range of question types, and locate and select relevant information from varied sources when undertaking investigations.

They complete activities focusing on problem solving and decision making which involve an increasing number of variables and solutions.

The elements of the Creativity standards addressed in the unit are:

(Students) apply creative thinking strategies to explore possibilities and generate multiple options, problem definitions and solutions.

They demonstrate creativity, in the ways they engage with and explore ideas in a range of contexts.

The elements of the Reflection, evaluation and metacognition standards addressed in the unit are:

(Students) explain the purpose of a range of thinking tools and use them in appropriate contexts.

They use specific language to describe their thinking and reflect on their thinking processes during their investigations.

Year 8 Home Economics Healthy Eating unit outline







Introduction to unit



  • Teacher explains the content of the unit, including assessment tasks and criteria for assessment.
  • Students individually complete a KWHL table to identify what they already know and would like to learn in Home Economics.

Introduction to the kitchen

Brainstorm safety rules

  • Teacher outlines requirements for practical work (e.g. bringing apron, container etc. to class).
  • Teacher explains procedures for working in the kitchen (e.g. demonstration, ingredient collection, production, clean up).
  • Teacher shows students equipment (e.g. where it is stored, how it is to be used).Teacher leads a brainstorm activity of safety rules using sticky notes.


Production: Baked potatoes

  • Following teacher demonstration of processes, students produce baked potatoes to identify safety and hygiene practices and become familiar with working in the kitchen environment.
  • Teacher leads discussion of hygiene procedures (e.g. wash hands, tie hair up, cleaning benches, washing dishes).
  • Students prepare and bake potato and select from a range of accompaniments (e.g. grated cheese, chopped chives, bacon).
  • Students identify the risks and safety considerations (e.g. knife handling, use of oven mitts) associated with the preparation of each ingredient. 



Introduction to design briefs, specifications and evaluation criteria

  • Teacher discusses the purpose of design briefs, specifications and evaluation criteria.
  • Use pita bread wraps as an illustrative example as follows.  Specifications in the teacher-developed design brief relate to convenience (e.g.  minimal preparation time), method of serving (e.g. ease of eating, requirement for refrigeration), ratio of each type of ingredient (e.g. three vegetables, one protein source and two condiments)
  • Design brief is displayed on whiteboard or in PowerPoint presentation.
  • Students work as a class to identify the specifications from the design brief and brainstorm questions to evaluate how the wrap meets the specifications. 
  • Students complete a flow diagram outlining how they plan to complete the production of the pita wrap.


Production: Pita bread wraps

  • Students produce Pita bread wraps, referring back to the design brief, specifications and evaluation criteria and production plan, which includes safety and hygiene requirements.
  • Students evaluate their Pita bread wraps using the evaluation criteria established in the previous lesson.



Introduction to the stir-fry dish design task (1)

Development of the design brief, specifications and evaluation criteria

  • Teacher explains design scenario 1 – designing a stir-fry
  • Teacher explains the use of the 5Whys and 1How strategy and using this strategy, leads students in the development of the design brief for a stir-fry.
  • Students with teacher guidance identify the constraints (aspects that must be addressed) and considerations (flexible aspects).
  • Students with teacher guidance identify the evaluation criteria, justify why each criteria is important and outlines a test to check if the stir-fry meets the criteria. One or more criteria must include reference to nutritional content.


Brainstorm ideas 

Investigation: Stir-fry ingredients

  • The class brainstorm ideas using sticky notes that focus on the types of stir-fry they could develop. 
  • Students cut out pictures from magazines of stir-fries (e.g. vegetables, meats, noodles) and identify potential ingredients and their combinations. Students annotate the pictures, identifying the appealing attributes that could potentially be used in their own designs
  • Students use the Internet to research recipes. Possible websites include Better Health Channel, Go for your life and Go for 2 & 5.  



Generation of design options

Justification of preferred option
Develop food order

  • Students draw two design options and annotate them to show ingredients, use of colour and serving suggestions.
  • Students evaluate each option using a SWOT analysis
  • Students use the SWOT analysis to determine which option to produce. 
  • Students complete the food order worksheet (listing all needed  ingredients and quantities).


Production: Gourmet hamburgers

  • Students produce gourmet hamburgers using supplied ingredients and processes demonstrated by the teacher
  • Teacher assists students to identify the main nutrients contained in the main ingredients and outline their uses in the body (e.g. mince meat provides protein for growth, bread roll provides carbohydrates for energy). The Australian Guide to Healthy Eating (AGHE) links foods to the nutrients they contain, such as  breads and cereals contain CHO for energy.



Production plan

Risk assessment

  • Students complete a Gantt chart that outlines the steps and time required to produce the stir fry. 
  • Teacher assists students to complete a risk assessment sheet, to identify production hazards and outline ways the hazards can be minimized.


Production: Stir-fry

  • Students produce the stir-fry dish and refer to the production plan and safety and hygiene procedures.
  • Teacher and/or students photograph each stage in production of the stir fry dish using a digital camera.


  • Students evaluate the stir-fry dish using a PMI analysis and the previously developed evaluation criteria; one criterion should contain some reference to nutritional content.




  • Students use presentation software such as PowerPoint to develop a nutrient profile of the designed stir-fry using information from the Australian Guide for Healthy Eating.
  • Students develop a promotion for the stir fry and its suitability for adolescents by identifying the nutrients needed for growth/activity.


Intro. to design task (2) Canteen snack

Creation of mood board

  • Teacher explains design scenario 2 – developing a snack to sell at the canteen. Reference can be made to the canteen guidelines for Victoria, especially the categories of food www.education.vic.gov.au/management/
  • Students use text and images from magazines to develop an inspiration page that stimulates ideas.
  • Students can refer to the above website for information on making recipes healthier. It also contains recipe ideas.



Investigation: Eating habits

  • Teacher assists students to develop a survey to investigate the healthy foods they and other students enjoy eating.
  • Teacher discusses with students a definition of ‘healthy foods’ and examples, such as low fat, high fibre, etc.
  • Students survey a year 7 class about their eating habits and the factors that affect their food in particular, their selection of snack foods at school.



Development of a design brief for the development of a healthy canteen snack, its specifications and evaluation criteria

  • Teacher organises students to complete a Fishbowl activity to discuss the interview findings
  • As a class, use the results from the survey to assist with the formulation of the design brief for the development of a healthy canteen snack
  • Develop evaluation questions drawn from the information in the design brief such as 'Is the snack suitable as a snack to be sold by the canteen?'



Production: Orange loaf

  • Students produce an orange loaf using supplied ingredients and processes demonstrated by the teacher
  • As a class, discuss whether the orange loaf contains ingredients that are ‘healthy’ and whether students think it is suitable as a snack to be sold by the canteen. Students use the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating or Healthy Canteen Kit as a basis for determining if it is suitable to be sold in the school canteen, for example, is it a red, amber or green food.


Brainstorm ideas for a healthy canteen snack

Investigation: Recipes

  • In small groups, students brainstorm ideas for a healthy canteen snack using a concept map

  • Students use the Internet, magazines and recipe books to identify recipes that could be used for a healthy canteen snack



Development of design options


Justification of preferred option


  • As a class, use the 5Whys and 1How strategy to develop a design brief for a healthy canteen snack.
  • Teacher leads class discussion to identify the constraints (aspects that have to be addressed) and considerations (aspects that are flexible)
  • Students identify the evaluation criteria, justify why each is important and describe a test to check if the product meets the criteria
  • Teacher refers to the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating  and the Healthy Canteen Kit when establishing the evaluation criteria


Production plan  and food order

Risk assessment


  • Students devise a production plan using a flow chart and complete the food order chart including ingredient quantities

  • Students complete a risk assessment sheet, identifying production hazards and outline minimisation strategies



Production: Healthy snack

  • Students produce the healthy canteen snack following the production plan and safety and hygiene procedures
  • Teacher and/or students photograph each stage of the production process using a digital camera



Completion of folio work

  • Students evaluate the healthy canteen snack produced in the previous lesson using thinking tools selected by the students
  • Students complete any outstanding components of the task. 

End of unit evaluation

  • Students identify the knowledge and skills developed over the course of the unit using a reflective self assessment sheet.


Australian Government: Department of Health and Aging
Australian Guide to Healthy Eating

Better Health Channel – Recipes

Department of Education and Early Childhood Development
Healthy Canteen Kit
This site has information on making recipes healthier and contains recipe ideas – see link to food ideas at home and school. Student learning activities are also available on this website.

Go for 2 & 5

Go for your life Canteens Advisory Service

Go for your life – Healthy Recipes

Back to Top