Healthy Meal Planning With Kids | Sanford Fit

Lesson

Healthy Meal Planning With Kids

Teach kids to plan a healthy meal, using the MyPlate printable.

Objectives

  • Identify nutritious food and drink choices.
  • Use the stoplight colors (green, yellow, and red) as tools to categorize food choices as "eat more," "eat some," and "eat less."

Info to Know

Talk with students about the idea that food is fuel for their bodies. “Food” refers to what you eat and what you drink. The lessons in this unit use a stoplight as a tool to help students think about their food choices:

  • Eat More: Green-light foods have the most nutrition for energy and growth, so eat them often! Examples: fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meat, milk, and water.
  • Eat Some: Yellow-light foods do not keep you fueled up the way green-light foods do, so eat them sometimes. Examples: canned or dried fruit, veggies with sauces, white bread or pasta, peanut butter, and juice.
  • Eat Less: Red-light foods are the least nutritious. It's okay to have a red-light food once in a while. Stop and think about your choice and eat the red-light foods least often. Examples: chips, candy, fried foods, cakes, donuts, and soda. 

It's important that kids understand that some foods provide you with more nutrition than others. Check out the Eat More Eat Some Eat Less Food Chart for examples. For more information about the nutritional benefits of foods and different food groups, read Food is Fuel

Set The Stage

Ask kids to turn and talk to a partner about their favorite meal. What makes it a favorite?

To use this with your students click here.

Captivate

Think About Healthy Meal Options

Students view the slideshow examples of mealtime choices. You may want to review red-light, green-light, and yellow-light foods to help students categorize the meal choices.

Educate

Learn About Healthy Eating Options

Present tips for making nutritious food choices:

  • Choose whole grain foods.
  • Choose baked or grilled over fried foods.
  • Skip adding sugar or butter to your food. 

Check for understanding: Which nutritious foods will you choose at your next meal?

Activate

Plan Nutritious Meals

Students document which foods they will choose to put on their plate at mealtime using the MyPlate Meal and the Eat More, Eat Some, Eat Less Food Chart printables.

Close the Lesson

Today we discussed nutritious mealtime options and how to make healthy choices. What will you tell others about nutritious mealtime choices?

Grade: 3-5

Time: 20 Minutes

What You'll Need

Health Education Standards

  • Standard 1: Core Concepts–Eat a variety of foods within each food group every day.
  • Standard 4: Interpersonal Communication 
  • Standard 5: Decision-Making
  • Standard 7: Practice Health-Enhancing Behaviors

Social and Emotional Learning Competencies

  • Self-Awareness
  • Self-Management
  • Responsible Decision-Making

Extend the Lesson

View the fit Units and Lessons Scope and Sequence Chart.

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