Welcome to Collards and Sense, a free curriculum to help high school students make the most of their food dollar.

Each of the seven lessons is intended to fit within one 1-hour period. Allowing students time to complete projects in class and incorporating extension activities can bring this curriculum to two weeks of instruction.


This curriculum follows standards from the National Association of State Administrators of Family and Consumer Sciences.

  • 2.2.3 Demonstrate behaviors that conserve, reuse, and recycle resources to maintain the environment.
  • 14.1.5 Analyze legislation and regulations related to nutrition and wellness.
  • 14.2.4 Analyze sources of food and nutrition information, including food labels, related to health and wellness 
  • 14.3.1 Apply current dietary guidelines in planning to meet nutrition and wellness needs.
  • 14.3.3  Demonstrate ability to select, store, prepare, and serve nutritious, aesthetically pleasing food and food product
  • 14.3.4 Evaluate policies and practices that impact food security, sustainability, food integrity, and nutrition and wellness of individuals and families.


While cooking demonstrations would enhance this curriculum (see extension activities), it is intended to be taught in any classroom with projection equipment.


The detailed lesson plans and accompanying presentation make this curriculum accessible to teachers with a wide variety of backgrounds from a Math instructor teaching a personal finance course to a Family and Consumer Sciences instructor teaching an independent living course.

Preparation for each lesson is minimal. It is recommended for instructors to make copy the presentation and edit it to suit their region. They need to do a bit of background research to lead students to resources in their area. They also need to consider the unique demographics of their students to emphasize material that is most relevant to them.


Assessments are suggested with every lesson and are highly adaptable. See extension activities for suggestions of culminating projects that will allow students to apply the information learned in this unit.


[AsapSCIENCE]. (2016, April 24). Brand name vs. generic [Video File]. Retrieved from http://youtu.be/kWBhP0EQ1lA

Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. (18, March 3). Labeling and nutrition: Changes to the nutrition facts label. Retrieved from https://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/GuidanceDocumentsRegulatoryInformation/LabelingNutrition/ucm385663.htm

Epstein, E. (2012, December 11). Cory Booker Completes His One-Week Food Stamp Challenge Today. Retrieved from http://www.ibtimes.com/cory-booker-completes-his-one-week-food-stamp-challenge-today-932441

Bennett, S. (2016). Food for today. Columbus, OH: McGraw-Hill Education.

GRACE Communications Foundation. (n.d.). Food Waste. Retrieved from http://www.sustainabletable.org/5664/food-waste

Just Harvest. (n.d.). The Truth About Food Stamps. Retrieved from http://www.justharvest.org/advocacy/the-truth-about-snap-food-stamps/

Mario Batali a hungry chef on food stamp challenge. (2012, May 15). Retrieved from http://www.foxnews.com/food-drink/2012/05/15/mario-batali-hungry-chef-on-food-stamp-challenge.html

[My Doctor – Kaiser Permanente]. (2017, June 7). How to create a healthy plate [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gmh_xMMJ2Pw

National Association of State Administrators of Family and Consumer Sciences. (2018). National Standards Overview. Retrieved from http://www.nasafacs.org/national-standards-overview.html

Shaich, R. (2013, September 25). Panera CEO learns about hunger on his food stamp diet. Retrieved from https://www.cnn.com/2013/09/25/opinion/shaich-food-stamp-challenge/index.html

SNAP Challenge: One Pot Chili Pasta. (2014, September 11). Retrieved from https://www.budgetbytes.com/2014/09/snap-challenge-one-pot-chili-pasta/

SNAP Challenge: Week 4 Summary. (2015, June 16). Retrieved from https://www.budgetbytes.com/2014/10/snap-challenge-week-4-summary/

Tam, R. (2013, June 20). Republican aide challenges Democrats in real-life ‘hunger games’. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2013/06/20/republican-aide-challenges-democrats-in-real-life-hunger-games/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.152bf5f2ff90

[truTV]. (2017, November 24). Adam ruins everything – What the date labels on food actually mean | truTV [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l5Rb7T87LJA

United States Department of Agriculture. (2018, March 29). Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). Retrieved from https://www.fns.usda.gov/cacfp/child-and-adult-care-food-program

United States Department of Agriculture. (2018, March 12). National School Lunch Program (NSLP). Retrieved from https://www.fns.usda.gov/nslp/national-school-lunch-program-nslp

United States Department of Agriculture. (2018, March 3). School Breakfast Program (SBP). Retrieved from https://www.fns.usda.gov/sbp/school-breakfast-program-sbp

United States Department of Agriculture. (2018, February 5). Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Retrieved from https://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/supplemental-nutrition-assistance-program-snap

United States Department of Agriculture. (2018, February 14). Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). Retrieved from https://www.fns.usda.gov/wic/women-infants-and-children-wic

United States Department of Agriculture. Official USDA food plans: Cost of food at home at four levels, U.S. Average. December 2017. https://www.cnpp.usda.gov/sites/default/files/CostofFoodDec2017.pdf

University of Nebraska Lincoln Extension. (n.d.). Meal planning and shopping [Pamphlet]. Lincoln, NE: The Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska.