Agriculture a career for everyone: Primary school resources

Page last updated: Tuesday, 12 September 2017 - 1:31pm

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Processing food?

Lesson overview

Students will develop an understanding of the reasons why we process foods.  They will evaluate the difference between a range of products and rank them in order of the level of processing. They will identify the reasons why we process foods, the benefits of food processing and outline the basic steps in processing some common food items.

Australian Curriculum: Technologies

Design and Technologies

  • Year 5 and 6 - Investigate how and why food and fibre are produced in managed environments (ACTDEK021) Investigate the role of food preparation in maintaining good health and the importance of food safety and hygiene (ACTDEK022)

Economics and Business

  • Year 5 - Influences on consumer choices and methods that can be used to help make informed personal consumer and financial choices (ACHEK003)
  • Year 6 - The reasons businesses exist and the different ways they provide goods and services (ACHEK011)


  • Category cards
  • Lunch box items
  • Flow chart template
  • Healthy food pyramid

Tuning In

Each child is given one category card from the pack and must find the group of foods that they belong to. Discuss in your group what links your cards. Ask students to help create a definition of unprocessed, minimally processed and highly processed foods.

Whole class introduction

Most of the foods we eat have been processed in some way. Many different techniques are used to provide us with benefits such as minimising food health risks (e.g. food poisoning), preserving of large quantities, seasonal crops, increasing shelf life,  increased variety and the manipulation or addition of certain vitamins and minerals important for good health. Some highly processed foods are considered detrimental to health and wellbeing but eaten in moderation, processed foods can provide an amazing range of flavours for us to enjoy.


Nikki Poulish