Tapestry of Faith: Building Bridges: A World Religions Program for 8th-9th Grades

Faith In Action: Faithful Eating

Materials for Activity

  • Leader Resource 3, Dr. Kellogg
  • Boxes of Kellogg's Corn Flakes (TM)
  • Boxes of miscellaneous other Kellogg's (TM) cereals
  • Pocket-sized notebooks and pens or pencils
  • Optional: If cereal will be eaten have bowls, milk, spoons, and napkins

Preparation for Activity

  • Read Leader Resource 3, Dr. Kellogg, until you are comfortable presenting it.
  • Optional: Make enough copies of Leader Resource 3 for participants..

Description of Activity

Read aloud, or have participants read aloud, the story of Dr. John Harvey Kellogg.

Ask youth for their initial reactions. Then ask:

  • What do you think of Dr. Kellogg?
  • If you were ill, would you go to Dr. Kellogg for treatment? Why or why not?
  • Do you agree with Dr. Kellogg that good food is the foundation of good health? If so, do you put effort into eating a healthy diet? Why or why not?
  • What do you think of Dr. Kellogg's restaurant coupon idea?
  • Do you agree with Dr. Kellogg that providing good food is a better way of helping the homeless than giving them cash? Why or why not? Is it paternalistic not to allow people to make their own decisions, or do givers of charity have a right to say how their gift will be used?

Distribute Kellogg's Corn Flakes (TM) boxes. Suggest participants take a moment to look at the ingredients list. Ask:

  • What are your initial observations?
  • Are there ingredients Dr. Kellogg would not have approved? If so, which ones and why? Dr. Kellogg might have considered the modern American diet, with its abundance of fat, sugar, salt, and processed foods, to constitute a public health threat. Do you agree?
  • Are you in the habit of reading the labels of the foods you eat?
  • If public health is at risk, should our government be involved? How?
  • Seventh-day Adventists have dietary regulations. Do we as Unitarian Universalists? Should we?

A number of Unitarian Universalists believe ethical eating is an act of faith and everyone's responsibility as both an ecological issue and a justice issue for those who do not have enough to eat. UUs at GA 2011 passed a Resolution on Ethical Eating.

If the cereal will be eaten, distribute supplies. Continue discussion while eating.

Tell them that this Faith in Action activity involves becoming more aware of our diet. Distribute notebooks and pens. Invite participants to keep a food log for the next week. They should write down what they eat and drink at meals and in between. If the meal consists of processed food, they should read all the

Ingredients and record the top three. If they forget and fail to record a meal or even a day's food, encourage them to write what they remember, and just keep going.

After a week, invite youth to look over their food log. The top items for consumption should be vegetables and fruits. Grains and proteins should be next. They should drink eight glasses of water a day. Do they think they follow a healthy diet? If not, what would they like to change?