Posted by: ad65shorty | November 3, 2009

Nutrition: Be a Food Explorer!

In order to teach children about nutrition, they need to know about the different types of food there are. Many young children don’t understand the difference between healthy foods and unhealthy foods so it’s up to us to teach them. We have a great guide: The Food Guide Pyramid. The official site for kids is awesome! I love how the pyramid lets you cater to your own family’s needs. This site has ideas on how to teach healthy living to children from ages 2 on up. Seriously, it’s fabulous! I recommend checking it out! You can get a copy of the pyramid I’ll be using this week there, as well.

I love to present this concept in a fun way by telling the kids that we’re going to be food explorers! And that’s exactly what you’re going to do: explore food. Talk about food and why we need food. Find out what they know about food. Then, tell them that there’s a way to know what kinds of foods are healthy for our bodies and show them the pyramid. Discuss what they see. Be sure to note all the kids that are exercising and being active, as well.


If you have time, it’s fun to spend one day a week on each food group, really diving in and exploring the foods in that group. This way, they really learn what is good for them. For example:

On Monday, we would learn about the Grains group. I would bring in items from my cupboards that are in this group, such as crackers, bread, noodles, etc. We would discuss the items (or explore the foods) and why they are good for us. We would then look in magazines for foods that would belong in that group and cut them out. I liked to have the kids glue their pictures onto the pyramid (see my picture above). To finish off each day, I would provide a food from that group for the kids to try (or explore); maybe muffins for the Grains group. It’s also fun to have your other activities for the day center around this food group, such as stringing Cheerio necklaces or putting rice into your sensory table.

When we learn about the fruit group and vegetable group, I like to introduce the kids to unique items, things that maybe they haven’t tried, such as mango or papaya. For the dairy group, it’s fun to have the kids fingerpaint with yogurt on wax paper. For your “protein” group (meat, beans, nuts), peanut butter playdough is fun! If you’re in a group setting away from home, just be sure that you check for allergies (we have a child with some so this is always on my mind!).

As a heads-up: I’m really excited to have an expert in this field guest post here on Friday! Stay tuned! She’s got some great ideas!


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