Name/Title: Sugar for Breakfast

Purpose of Event: To help students understand how easy it is to overeat sugary cereals at breakfast.

Suggested Grade Level: 6-12

Materials Needed: Any popular breakfast cereal, 2 cereal bowls, bigger bowl of refined sugar.

Description of Idea

As a demonstration of how easy it is to consume additional "hidden" empty calories, measure out one serving of a popular breakfast cereal (Usually 3/4 cup). Place the measured amount in a cereal bowl. Naturally, the amount of cereal is not that impressive. Next, ask for a volunteer who has had cereal for breakfast. Ask the student to pour the amount of cereal they had that morning into the bowl. The student usually pours 2 to 4 times the actual serving size. Ask the student, or members of the class, to estimate the number of calories in the bowl.

Calculate the number of carbohydrates (subtracting the fiber) for the student's bowl of cereal. Measure this amount of refined white sugar into a different bowl. Clarify for students that this amount of sugar is what they are eating with their morning bowl of cereal.


To make this activity even more interesting, do the same calculations and comparisons by including such other breakfast items as toast (be sure to subtract the fiber), orange juice, biscuits, soft drinks or any other breakfast items that the students in the class mention.

Submitted by Gary  S. Walton who teaches at Merchantville Elementary School in Merchantville , NJ . Thanks for contributing to PE Central! Posted on PEC: 5/18/2000.
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