Energy of an Astronaut

Astronauts living on the International Space Station need balanced meals to meet their energy and health needs while in space. Food scientists and nutritionists at space agencies ensure that astronauts eat balanced meals in space by consulting the Nutrition Fact labels and studying the nutritional needs of astronauts before food is packaged for both short and long duration spaceflight. 
 
In this investigation, teams will identify healthy food choices in the Food Pyramid to maintain a healthy body weight and learn how Calorie needs are different on Earth and in space. 
 
Mission Question
How can Nutrition Fact labels be used to determine how much food I need for one day?
 
Skills
Scientific Methodology, Communication, Problem-solving, Teamwork
Learning Objectives:
  • investigate the Food Pyramid and the basic foods that make up a balanced diet and daily energy needs
  • examine a Nutrition Facts labels for serving size and Calories, protein, calcium and vitamins
  • determine individual daily energy needs
  • create a five-day menu based on Food Pyramid recommendations and individual dietary needs
Equipment
  • Per class:
    • computer with Internet access
    • LCD projector or overhead projector
    • painters tape
    • six sentence strips
    • food packaging from the six food groups
  • Per group (3 students per group):
    • Nutrition Facts labels from corn, flour, and wheat tortillas
  • Per student:
    • Energy of an Astronaut Student Handout
    • Food Pyramid Data Sheet
    • Fit Explorer Personal Five-Day Menu Planner
    • blank sheet of paper
Time
Preparation: 30 min
Lesson: 3 x 45 min sessions

Other activities

Astro Crops

 If astronauts are going to settle on the Moon,...

Get on Your Space Cycle

One exercise device that is regularly used by astronauts...

Bonus Activity: HIIT the Space Gym

Let’s HIIT the space gym and get ready to...

Crew Strength Training

Astronauts must perform physical tasks in space that require...

Crew Assembly Training

When working with objects in space, astronauts must have...

Building an Astronaut Core

Astronauts in space must be able to twist, bend,...

Speed of Light

In preparation for space travel, astronauts invest many hours...

Peake Liftoff

In a reduced gravity environment, muscles and bones can...

en_GBEN