The theme of this lesson is the nutritional value of fish. Fish is an important source of protein and vitamins for humans. Recipes are included to encourage greater consumption of fish.

Lesson Objectives

To inform pupils about the nutritional value of fish and to encourage greater consumption of fish among younger people.

Video: Lesson 7
Powerpoint: Lesson 7
Teachers Guidelines

Lesson could begin by making the pupils aware of the nutritional value of fish. Discuss their own consumption of fish: fish fingers, fish and chips, fish cakes, fish pie etc. We can divide the fish we eat into three categories: White fish, Oily Fish and Shellfish

White fish such as cod is very good for low cholesterol diets. Oily fish supplies vitamins A and D. Its oil or fat is distributed throughout its body so its flesh is beige or pink. Shellfish is also very nutritious but it can be difficult to digest.

Fish contain no carbohydrates but are an excellent source of protein, which helps build and repair strong muscles and bones. There are nutrients in fish and seafood that rarely exist in other foods: omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin E. All fish contains small amounts of vitamin B. Vitamins and minerals are essential for good health. For example, vitamin A is essential for the eyes and helps protect the skin, nose and throat. Fish and shellfish are also good sources of magnesium, calcium, iodine and other important nutrients.

Discuss the food pyramid and where fish appear on the pyramid. To help pupils better understand the food pyramid, they can carry out the food pyramid activity below

To encourage pupils to incorporate fish into their diet, fish dishes can be made in class, if resources allow. Two receipes that incorporate fish, can be found below

Additional Teaching Material

The food pyramid shows us the groups of foods that make up a good diet. It also tells us that we need to eat a variety of foods from all five groups and how much of the foods from the different groups we should eat to stay healthy. Its pyramid shape helps explain which foods we should eat more or less of. Many people take cod liver oil to help maintain a healthy heart. Heart disease is one of the biggest causes of death in the world but it is almost unknown among the Inuit people, even though their diet is very high in fat. The fat in their diet comes mostly from oil-rich fish. The Inuit of North America use fish oil on their bodies to help keep out the cold.

For most species, truly fresh fish is almost odourless. Fish only begin to smell “fishy” when deterioration sets in, often caused by incorrect storage practices. For most species, truly fresh fish is almost odourless. Fish only begin to smell “fishy” when deterioration sets in, often caused by incorrect storage practices. Irish people do not eat much fish. Three-quarters of the fish caught in Ireland is exported to other countries.

The Food Chain

The food chain is not a linear chain but a complex web. The sun provides the energy for everything on the planet. Energy is passed from one organism to another in a network like a spider’s web.

Producers include all green plants. Plants are able to harness the energy of the sun to make food. They make up the bulk of the food chain or web.

Consumers are described as every organism that eats something else. They include herbivores (animals that eat plants), carnivores (animals that eat other animals), parasites (animals that live off of other organisms by harming it), and scavengers (animals that eat dead animal carcasses).

Omnivores, humans, eat both meat and plants. They are end consumers in the food chain.

Decomposers are mainly bacteria and fungi that convert dead matter into gases such as carbon and nitrogen to be released back into the air, soil or water. Decomposers recycle the nutrients to be used again by producer.

When we spray pesticides or chemicals, we put the food chain in danger. Breaking one link on the chain means all of the organisms above that link are in threat of extinction (like the Domino Effect).

The Estuary Food Web

Revision

Two different types of revision material accompany this lesson; activity cards and whiteboard material.
The activity card is a 3 page document that is filled out by the pupils to test their knowledge of the lesson taught. The teacher can decide if the activity card is filled out individually or in teams

The whiteboard resource tests the pupils knowledge of the lesson taught. Pupils are encouraged to actively engage in answering questions relating to food, the food pyramid and nutrition.

At the end of the lesson, Pupils should know
That fish is a highly nutritious food.

1.  That fish is a highly nutritious food.