Just as machines need fuel to operate, different types of healthy food and beverages provide fuel for the body and brain.
The lessons in this unit help kids to understand that food is fuel. Food is what you eat and drink to give your body energy to move and think. Rather than classifying foods as good or bad, encourage children to stop and think, then choose the best fuel (i.e., foods that supply nutrition and energy).
You can extend a lesson with videos from the fit video series, What Food Does for Your Body. Each video highlights a food group or category and serves as a great resource to introduce or review the benefits of eating a variety of foods. See the Extend the Lesson section of this page for a list of videos.
For more information on nutritious eating, go to MyPlate.gov.
Show students several (non-battery-powered) toy vehicles or other machines. Dramatically try to make them work. Are these machines? Why aren’t they working? What do some machines need to make them work? Have students share what they know about how fuel and energy make machines work.
To use this with your students click here.
You Are in Charge of Fueling Your Body
View the slideshow to take students on a space mission to help them understand that choosing the best fuel for their body is important. Just like rockets need powerful fuel, so do our bodies.
Help Kids Understand Healthy Fuel
Explain the following key points from the slideshow:
Check for understanding: What are some nutritious foods you fuel up with?
Print This "How To Build a Meal" Poster for Kids to Bring Home
Challenge students to think of their bodies as rockets. What fuel will they choose for their next meal? Download the How to Build a Meal poster for students to post at home.
Ask students to share an idea for a nutritious food or drink to have for an upcoming meal or snack. Ask them to share where they will hang the How to Build a Meal poster at home. When students eat snacks and meals at school, remind them to “fuel up” for what’s next on the schedule. Compliment them on their nutritious choices and share how those choices lead to energetic thinking and movement during the day!
Time: 20 Minutes
Show kids how making healthy choices can cause a chain reaction of feeling good and making more healthy choices.Start Lesson
We make choices all day long. Let’s help kids identify times during the day when they make choices and practice giving reasons why they made certain choices.Start Lesson
Help kids think more carefully about responsible decision-making. Introduce the idea of making a choice because it's good for your body and brain.Start Lesson
Help kids understand that self-awareness can help them to make healthy choices.Start Lesson
Position kids to make better choices by teaching them about the benefits of resting, having a positive mindset, eating healthy foods, and engaging in physical activity.Start Lesson
Teach kids to think about making healthy choices and the importance of doing so.Start Lesson