Lesson

Ways That Kids Can Fuel Their Bodies and Brains

Teach kids to identify healthy breakfast food options.

Objectives

  • Recall that food is fuel for the body and brain.
  • Identify the food and drink choices that are best for your body and brain.

Lesson Plan

Introduce students to the idea that food is fuel for their bodies. “Food” refers to both 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. Green-light foods are to be eaten more often than yellow-light or red-light foods:

  • Eat More: Green-light foods are best! They have the most nutrition for energy and growth and can be eaten anytime. Green-light foods are great fuel for your body and brain, 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. They have more fat, added sugar, and/or calories than green-light foods. Eat yellow-light foods sometimes, but not for every meal. Examples: dried fruit, veggies with sauces, flavored yogurt, granola bars, ground beef, and juice.
  • Eat Less: Red-light foods have the lowest nutritional value. 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 foods are not good or bad; however, there are foods that you want to eat more often for good health. For more information and about the nutritional benefits of foods and different food groups, read Food is Fuel

Set The Stage

Have kids turn and talk to a partner about what they had for breakfast.

Optional: Chart responses to categorize later in the lesson.

To use this with your students click here.

Captivate

Healthy Food Choices for Kids

View the slideshow for a fun, interactive quiz about breakfast choices.

Educate

Teach Kids That Food Is Fuel

Review key concepts:

  • Food is fuel to power your body and brain.
  • Kids who make healthy food choices have chosen the best fuel for their bodies.
  • Tools, such as MyPlate, are available to help students make healthy food choices.

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

Activate

Help Kids Identify Healthy Foods

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

Students take their breakfast plate with them so they can match their breakfast to their plate the next morning.

Close the Lesson

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

Grade: K-2

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

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