Ways That Kids Can Fuel Their Bodies and Brains

Teach kids to identify nutritious breakfast food options.


  • Recall that food is fuel for a healthy body and brain.
  • Identify nutritious food and drink choices.

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

Have kids turn and talk with a partner about what they like to eat for breakfast.

To use this with your students click here.


Nutritious Food Choices for Kids

View the slideshow to get kids thinking about all kinds of nutritious foods they can eat for breakfast.


Teach Kids that Food is Fuel

Review the following key concepts about food, and let kids know that these concepts apply to all meals and snacks, including breakfast!

  • Food is fuel to power your body and brain. 
  • Kids who make nutritious food choices are choosing terrific fuel for their bodies and brains.
  • Tools, such as MyPlate, are available to help students make nutritious food choices.

Check for understanding:  _ _ _ _ is fuel to power your body and brain.


Help Kids Identify Nutritious Foods

Students identify foods they will choose for a nutritious breakfast and draw or write them on the MyPlate template.

Close the Lesson

Today we learned about nutritious breakfast food choices. Next, we will play a game to learn more about nutritious food choices.

Grade: 3-5

Time: 20 Minutes

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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