Commander's Log: Recording Your Meals

Difficulty: Moderate

Duration: 15 minutes + homework

Materials: Minimal


Download the PDF version (764 KB)

Background

While living on the International Space Station (ISS), astronauts are assessed to make sure they are receiving adequate nutrition. This is done through blood samples, food frequency questionnaires, comparing body mass before and after flight, using a food intake app, as well as an evaluation of any physical symptoms of nutrient deficiencies.

On the ISS, the food intake app allows astronauts to record their food intake by taking photos of the items, selecting the items on the interface, or creating an audio file where they describe the items consumed.

If an astronaut is not consuming enough calories or is becoming deficient in certain nutrients, their doctor will discuss options with them and get them back on track.

The food items available on the ISS are in single-serving packages; therefore, astronauts have to select multiples of the same package or mix-and-match with other items to create a fulfilling and balanced meal. For example, an astronaut could choose a package of rehydratable chicken and pair it with packages of spinach and rice.

On Earth, writing down the foods you eat can help you learn about your eating habits and determine if you are following the Canada's Food Guide recommendations. Additionally, comparing your plate to the Canada's Food Guide's plate is an effective way to see if you are consuming the recommended proportions of grains, protein, and vegetables and fruits.

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Mission description

Participants can learn about mindful eating, eating habits, the healthy plate, and food intake recording. In this activity, participants will take pictures or write down which foods they ate at each meal and for snacks, as well as approximate plate proportions. Participants can identify if any meal or snack consumed during the day would be a good meal for astronauts and why.

Timeline

Breakdown Duration
Explanation of activity 5 minutes

Homework

  • Participants will record (photos or written) all food, drinks, and snacks consumed for one day
  • Participants will identify how often their plate was balanced
Variable, to be completed throughout the day
Activity debrief the next day; participants could volunteer to mention what they ate, but not a requirement 10 minutes
Total Class time: 15 minutes
Homework: variable

Goal

To allow participants to become mindful of their eating habits

Objectives

By the end of the activity, participants will be able to

Mission preparation

Materials

In this take-home activity, participants can record the foods they eat throughout the day and complete the corresponding worksheet. This activity will allow the participants to become more aware of the foods they are consuming.

Download the participant handout (PDF, 519 KB)

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