In this set of activities adaptable for grades K-3, parents and educators will find ideas for teaching about food groups. These activities are designed to complement the BrainPOP Jr. Food Groups topic page, which includes a movie, quizzes, online games, printable activities, and more.
Classroom Activities for Teaching About Food Groups
Together as a class, create a food groups mural or collage. Help students create the sections for each food group. Then have students draw or cut out and paste pictures of different foods in each group. Encourage students to think of different kinds of fruits, vegetables, grains, and dairy products. Remind them that a varied diet leads to the consumption of different vitamins and minerals. Also have students draw pictures or paste pictures of people exercising. This will remind them that regular exercise is an important part of a healthy, balanced diet.
What’s on the Menu?
Have students work in small groups to create menus. They can draw pictures and describe the meals in words. Remind them that their meals should be balanced! Half of each meal should be made up of fruits and vegetables. Have students share their menus and drawings with the whole class. As a fun activity, have students swap menus and make the meals at home or bring them to class. You could also integrate math skills into the activity by having students add prices to their menus and calculate the cost of ordering different combinations of foods from one another’s menus.
Family and Homeschool Activities for Teaching About Food Groups
Cooking with Kids
One of the best ways to promote healthy eating is to cook with your child. Together you can prepare a healthy meal, such as a salad, sandwich, and fruit wedges. You can give your child simple tasks such as washing and peeling fruits and vegetables, shaking salad dressing, taking ingredients out of the refrigerator or pantry, or making a sandwich. As you cook together, discuss the importance of eating well and have your child identify the food group that each ingredient belongs to and explain why the food is nutritious. Encourage your child to identify whether the plate is balanced and if it has the recommended proportion of each food group.
The Junk in Junk Food
Making healthy choices is an important part of good nutrition. Present different junk food options to your child such as potato chips, candy, chocolate, pizza, hamburgers, and soda. Explain why junk food is bad for us: it contains few nutrients and is often high in salt and fat, which can lead to health problems in the future. Have your child brainstorm healthier options for each kind of food. What can your child drink instead of soda? What can your child eat for a snack instead of candy? Write down a list of healthy options and have your child refer to it when helping you plan and prepare meals.