In this set of eating right activities for kids, adaptable for grades K-3, parents and educators will find ideas for teaching about healthy foods, healthy diets, and eating right. These activities are designed to complement the BrainPOP Jr. Eating Right topic page, which includes a movie, quizzes, online games, printable activities, and more.
Classroom Activities for Teaching About Eating Right
Bring in sugary snacks or their packaging and look at the ingredients list. You can also pull up nutritional information for popular snacks online. How much sugar is in a chocolate bar? How much sugar is in a can of orange soda? How much sugar is in chocolate milk? You may wish to measure out the sugar equivalent using a bag of sugar and measuring spoons so children can see exactly how much sugar they’re consuming when they make those choices. Then track how much sugar is in a piece of whole wheat bread or in a carrot. Compare the numbers together in a chart. You may even want to create a bar graph as an additional math connection. Afterward, have students eat the healthier snacks!
Create a cookbook together with the whole class. First take a look at a few healthy cookbooks or recipes printed from the Internet. Discuss the ingredient list and the instructions together. This is a good opportunity to explore sequence and how-to texts. Then have each student bring a healthy recipe to class. They may want to adapt a recipe from a cookbook or make one up with their families. Make copies of the cookbook and send them home to students’ families. Alternatively, you could have students add their recipes to a class blog or wiki. Families can comment on each other’s recipes and make suggestions as to how they could be made even healthier.
Family and Homeschool Activities for Teaching About Eating Right
Cook together with your child. This is a great opportunity to discuss nutrition and get kids involved in understanding what they eat. First plan a meal together, and make sure the meal contains items from each food group. You may want to look at the food pyramid together and have your child brainstorm how to include items from each group, and examine the ingredients list and nutritional information for packaged foods. After enjoying the meal together, discuss how many servings from each food group were eaten. What choices should the family make for the next meal to make sure that everyone has gotten the recommended daily requirements?
Swap it Out
Cut out pictures of food together from magazines or newspapers, searching particularly for images of fast food meals or junk food. Then challenge your child to make the meal or snack healthier by swapping out parts of the meal (or the whole meal) and replacing it with drawings or pictures of healthier options. Discuss what makes the alternatives healthier and what nutritional value they bring to the meal.