Food group activities allow children to learn how to pick the most healthful foods for their growing bodies. These activities include hands-on projects, crafts and field trips. Tailor lesson plans around the age group of the children you're teaching. Preschool or kindergarten children may prefer more basic crafts, while older kids enjoy elaborate, detailed lessons about food.
Name that Group
First, teach the children a lesson about food groups. Construct apples, carrots, cucumbers, meat and other foods out of construction paper and cut out the different foods. Hold up each food and ask the kids which group the food goes into. Allow the kids to raise their hands and make a guess. Keep track of who gets the most right answers and give this child a prize.
Food Group Book
Teach the children in your class about different food groups by making custom books. Use card stock, construction paper or poster board paper to construct a book. Use a hole puncher to punch holes on the side binding of the book and tie yarn through each hole. Cut out pictures of different foods such as grapes, apples and bananas from magazines and ask the kids to make a page for each food group. The food groups also include fats and oils, meats and even treats. The kids can simply make a picture book, write about the nutrients in different foods and why they like certain foods.
Custom Food Group Pyramids
Show the children examples of different food group pyramids including the standard USDA pyramid, the Mediterranean pyramid or other types of pyramids. Give the kids poster board paper and markers and ask them to craft their own food pyramid according to the foods they eat on a continual basis. Then ask the kids to write down goals about how they can change their diet and eat more healthy foods. This activity can help kids see if they are actually following a healthy eating plan.
Food Group Taste Test
Teach children about the value of nutrition by allowing them to sample nutrient-dense selections from all of the healthy food groups. However, get permission slips from parents before doing this activity to ensure that none of the children have nut allergies or any other types of food allergies.Nut allergies can be life threatening.
Group fruits in one large bowl and place vegetables, grains and other food groups in other bowls. Healthy fats and oils such as olive oil and nuts go in one group as well. Give the kids spoons to sample the olive oil or simply keep the bottle on display. The children may want to eat almonds, sunflower seeds or other nuts instead of sampling different oils. Ask the kids to try something from one or more food groups. You can place samples in small bowls or allow the children to eat whole fruits and vegetables.