Lesson

What Are Your Kids Eating?

Talk with kids about healthy foods and strategies for choosing them.

Objectives

  • Identify examples of healthy foods to fuel the body and brain.

Lesson Plan

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.

Set The Stage

Ask several students to share where they hung up their How to Build a Meal poster at home. Ask for examples of healthy eating choices they made lately or compliment choices you observed. Ask students, “How is choosing healthy foods and beverages like filling up a car at the gas station?” 

To use this with your students click here.

Captivate

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 flowers! 

Educate

Facts About Food as Fuel

Discuss the slideshow’s key messages:

  • Food gives energy to and fuels the body.
  • Eat three meals during the day; having 1–2 small healthy snacks is okay.
  • Choose fuels to help you be your best: protein, whole grains, fruit and veggies.

Check for understating: What fuel will you choose for your meals? What about your snacks?

Activate

Print the "Healthy Food Hunt" Home Activity

Download the Healthy Food Hunt activity and have students use it to find healthy foods at home.

If they find healthy foods that are not pictured, they can write or draw them on the back of the page.

Close the Lesson

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 healthy food 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 vs. vegetables.

 

Grade: 3-5

Time: 20 Minutes

Health Education Standards

  • Standard 1: Core Concepts - Eat a variety of foods within each food group each day.
  • Standard 4: Interpersonal Communication
  • Standard 5: Decision-Making

 

Social and Emotional Learning Competencies

  • Responsible Decision-Making

Extend the Lesson

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