Learning to Use a Scale

CONCEPT: Cooking with PKU, Calculating Phe



Children work through an activity to practice weighing specified amounts of different foods.s



After completing this activity, children will be able to:

  • identify the parts of a digital scale
  • list the steps for weighing a food with a scale
  • state that weighing foods is the easiest way to obtain an accurate estimate of the amount of phe in a food



Distribute the "Learning to Use a Scale" worksheet.

Lead a discussion about weighing foods and the parts of a scale.

  • What is a scale?
  • What does a scale do?
  • Why is a scale an important tool for a person who has PKU? (Reinforce--Weighing foods is the easiest way to obtain an accurate estimate of the amount of phe in a food. Food records which give amounts eaten in weights are the easiest and most accurate way for the nutritionist to assess the amount of phenylalanine you are eating!)
  • Who has used a scale before?
  • What have you weighed with a scale?
  • Review the parts of a scale (page 1).

Demonstrate the steps for using a scale. Choose a food to weigh for this demonstration and show the children how to use the scale. Talk through the steps on page 2 of the worksheet.

The children complete the remainder of the worksheet individually. Provide assistance as needed. If there is time, you can provide additional foods for the children to practice weighing.

When finished with the worksheet, discuss their answers.





Encourage your child to begin weighing their foods. This will help your child to begin to judge portion sizes and increase awareness of phe values in foods.


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