Talk with kids about healthy foods and strategies for choosing them.
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, rather than empty calories).
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 healthy eating, go to ChoseMyPlate.gov.
Ask students, “How is choosing nutritious foods and beverages like filling up a car at the gas station?” Invite students to give examples of nutritious eating choices they have recently made or compliment nutritious choices you may have observed at snack time or lunch.
To use this with your students click here.
Knowing the Difference Between Fruits and Vegetables
Is a tomato a fruit or a vegetable? Explain that tomatoes are fruits because they grow from flowers and contain seeds.
What about green beans? Yes, they are also a fruit. So, are pumpkins, cucumbers, and any other food that grows from a flower!
Facts About Food as Fuel
Discuss the slideshow’s key messages:
Check for understating: What fuel will you choose for your meals? What about your snacks?
Print the "Healthy Food Hunt" Home Activity
Download the Healthy Food Hunt activity and have students use it to find nutritious foods at home. If they find nutritious foods that are not pictured, they can write or draw them on the back of the page.
If time allows, play a game! Food Bingo helps kids learn about different food choices they can make at meal or snack time.
Over the next few days, read aloud books that celebrate nutritious foods and make connections to this lesson content. For example, Rainbow Stew by Cathryn Falwell tells the story of three siblings who harvest food from their grandfather’s garden and make a delicious vegetable soup. Fruit Bowl by Mark Hoffman is a funny story about a tomato who wants a spot in the fruit bowl, and the book also includes lots of information about fruits versus vegetables.
Time: 20 Minutes