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Breakfast math

Updated: May 6, 2020

Nutrition labels on breakfast cereal provide a great context for discussing multiplication, percentages, and proportions. If you have several cereal boxes on the table, kids can compare the nutritional value of the various cereals. For example, if you are looking at the Rice Chex nutrition label linked below, you could ask the following questions:

How big is one serving? (1 cup)

If you ate one serving, how many grams of sugar would you get? sodium? Fiber?

How much does a gram weigh? (about the same as a paper clip or ¼ t. sugar)

If you ate 2000 calories/day, what percent of your sodium would come from 1 serving? (24%) What about fat? (1%)

How many servings would you have to eat to get 100% of your sodium for the day? (100/24=4.2 servings) What about fat? (100/1=100 servings!)

How much fiber should you have per day given that 1g of fiber is 4% of your recommended daily allowance? (4%x25=100% of the fiber you should consume, so 1g x 25=25 g of fiber/day. Solved as a proportion: 4/100 = 1/n, so 4n= 1(100). Solving this is 100/4, or 25 grams/day.)

If comparing cereals, Which is healthier? Based on what? Sugar? Fiber? Fat? Vitamins?

Not only can you brush up on math concepts at breakfast, eating family meals together boosts student achievement and reduces children’s stress, believe it or not! What a great excuse to eat!

For research on how family dinners improve student achievement, see

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