Unit Price Calculation Anticipatory Set

The Pasta e Fagioli soup calls for a 15-oz can of tomato sauce.

Which did I buy?

How much did I save?

If I were preparing this soup for 24 people, how much money would I save for the whole recipe? (The original recipe serves 8.)

Use MyFitnessPal’s Barcode Scanner in Classroom Calorie Calculation

Earlier this school year I wrote about my love for MyFitnessPal.com, especially after the not-so-conveniently timed federal government shutdown.

If you can believe it, I love this app even more today!

My Bakery students are in the throws of their Create Your Own Quickbread project and made their first draft muffin today.  While the muffins baked students were to calculate unit cost, calorie count, and Healthy Kids viability.

One group was short a person so they did not want to leave their oven to go to the media center. Instead they attempted to use MyFitnessPal on their phone. A senior in my class had the app on her cell phone because she has to track her food and activity for a health class. I knew there was a way to enter recipe information on the app but I assumed it would be tedious compared to a computer.

That I was before I knew…. drum roll… that a BAR CODE SCANNER existed. No amount of capital letters and exclamation points can account for the happy dance I did around my classroom.  It made calculating calories so EASY! Instead of searching… and searching… and searching for the closest ingredient, students could scan my ingredients and enter in the exact information.

I am so happy with the bar code scanner that I may be using MyFitnessPal more often in both class activities and in my personal life.

Healthy Recipe Substitutions FACS Lab

Last week students demonstrated an edible way to practice their kitchen math skills.  Math and recipe skills are their least favorite things to follow so I bribe them with food as needed. 🙂

Students received a basic muffin recipe:

Ms. Pins’ Basic Muffin Recipe 


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 oz butter, softened


  1. Preheat oven to 400° F.
  2. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. Beat the eggs in a separate bowl. Add the sugar, milk, vanilla and butter.
  4. Add liquid ingredients to dry.
  5. Pour batter into prepared muffin cups and bake 20 minutes.
  6. Allow to cool before tasting.

Students’ first task is to divide the recipe in half.

Next, using their healthy recipe substitutions research, students modify their recipe.

They make a grocery list for their modified recipe.

The next day I demonstrate the basic muffin recipe by making the basic recipe above.  Students make their own recipe. (Remember I teach on a block schedule with 85 minute periods)

Students taste the muffins I prepared and their own.  They evaluate the muffins according to flavor, appearance, color, and texture. This Wordle is a good tool to encourage students to use words besides “Good, bad, gross, ok.”

  • What specific substitutions did your group make?
  • Taste and describe the original muffins according to FACT.
  • Taste and describe the healthy muffins according to FACT.
  • Compare and contrast the two muffins.
  • Name a food that your family eats that could be made more healthy.
The next day we continue our math practice with unit pricing.  It is very difficult!  I make it really hard to start and ease up on them later on.  That way they build confidence and know they can do it.
I photocopied the receipts I used to buy the supplies for the lab.
  • What is the cost of each muffin?
  • How does this cost compare to your favorite snack?
  • What other resources should be considered when considering the cost of food preparation?
  • Is a homemade muffin worth the extra work?
Overall the students were very happy with the results.  No one asked for a copy of the original muffins, but many asked for me to evaluate their papers quickly so they could have their recipes back!