Talk with kids about nutritious 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).
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.
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 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" Activity
Download the Healthy Food Hunt activity and have students use it to find nutritious foods. If they find nutritious foods that are not pictured, they can write or draw them on the back of the page. Additionally, you may want to download the Healthy Foods Coloring Pages as an independent activity.
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
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