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The Poetry of Science

Health, Literacy, & Poetry

Food for Thought by Robyn Hood Black
Nutrition Facts Cartoon

You won’t find a character, setting, or plot

on the side of the cereal box Dad bought.

But wait! There’s still something tasty to read.

The food label has information you need.

Ingredients tell you what is inside.

(See sugar and salt? They were trying to hide.)  

Your body needs protein, carbohydrates, and fat.

A good bit of this, just a little of that.

Vitamins help keep you active and strong—

minerals, too, when they tag along.

Check out the calories per serving size.

Then make a choice that is healthy and wise!

Poem © 2014 Robyn Hood Black from The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong © 2014 Pomelo Books; illustration by Frank Ramspott from The Poetry of Science: The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science for Kids © 2015 Pomelo Books.

Take 5!

1. If possible, add some fun to sharing this poem with a poetry prop—show a box of cereal or the ingredients panel from any food package before reading the poem aloud.

2. For a follow-up reading, invite students to say the key words in bold while you read the rest of the poem aloud.

3. Share a video on interpreting nutrition facts on food labels, found at KidsHealth (see Internet Resources). Talk about how kids can make healthy choices based on this information.

4. Use this poem to discuss how consumers can evaluate product claims found in advertisements and labels for food. Compare the labels on various products to assess their nutritional value, and then place them into food group sections on ChooseMyPlate (see Internet Resources).

5. Link this with another poem about measuring food ingredients, “Breakfast Alchemy” by Mary Quattlebaum (see Internet Resources) and look for “recipe” poem books such as Guacamole: Un poema para cocinar/ A Cooking Poem by Jorge Argueta (see References).

Internet Resources

“Breakfast Alchemy” by Mary Quattlebaum



Robyn Hood Black, Website of author


Black R.H. 2014. “Food for Thought” in The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science, eds. Vardell S. and Wong J., 214. Princeton, NJ: Pomelo Books.

Argueta, J. 2012. Guacamole: Un poema para cocinar / A Cooking Poem. Ill. by Margarita Sada. Toronto: Groundwood.


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