Ideas for Kindergarten Lessons on Healthy Foods

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Kindergarten students can learn about nutrition and healthy eating by being offered fun, hands-on experiences. Smelling, touching and tasting a variety of fruits and vegetables helps children discern between healthy and unhealthy foods. Use their daily snack time to talk about good food choices. Sing songs, read stories and create art projects with a nutritional theme to help students explore the same concepts in diverse ways.

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Eat a Rainbow

Read, “I Can Eat a Rainbow,” by Annabel Karmel. Stop to discuss all the colors of food you see. Ask the students what colors they like to eat. After sharing the book, help students color or paint a rainbow including all of the colors — red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. Give each student several circles, each illustrating a different fruit or vegetable. Ask the children to color each food and glue it onto its corresponding color on the rainbow.

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Food Sorting

Hands-on activities give kindergartners real experiences with fruits and vegetables. Provide a basket of plastic or wooden fruits, vegetables, candy and drinks for students to explore. Ask individuals or small groups of students to sort the food according to healthy/unhealthy, by color or by category. Teach pairs of students to play a game in which one student picks several pieces of food and hides them under a handkerchief. The other student pulls off the handkerchief and determines which foods are healthy and which are not. Encourage the students to keep a nutrition journal filled with pictures of their sorts.

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Apples and Bananas Song

A silly song about apples and bananas can open up discussions about healthy foods or serve as a reminder to students about eating fruit every day. Sing normally the first time through. On the second and remaining verses, substitute all of the vowel sounds with a different long vowel. For example, the second verse would begin with emphasis on a long /a/ sound with, “A lake to ate.” Continue singing until you have gone through all five long vowel sounds.

I like to eat,
I like to eat,
I like to eat, eat apples and bananas.
I like to eat,
I like to eat,
I like to eat, eat apples and bananas.

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Interactive Food Pyramid

Displaying an interactive food pyramid in the classroom gives students the opportunity to learn about nutrition all year. Post a large, colorful food pyramid low on the wall for easy student access. Include several hook-and-loop dots on each row of the pyramid. Store pictures of fruits, vegetables, grains, milk and junk food in labeled baskets next to the food pyramid. Each day as students enter the classroom, ask them to attach a picture of one food they ate in the appropriate category on the food pyramid. Take a few minutes each day to discuss what the class ate and whether those choices were healthy.

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