Let's Make a Food Pyramid
- Grades: PreK–K
- Unit Plan:
Students learn about the various food groups and begin to identify nutritious foods. They use this information to create their own food pyramids.
New York State PreK-K Health Education Learning Standards:
1.2.1. Identify that healthy behaviors affect personal health.
2.2.1. Identify how the family influences personal health practices and behaviors.
5.2.1. Identify situations when a health-related decision is needed.
6.2.1. Identify a short-term personal health goal and take action toward achieving the goal.
7.2.1. Demonstrate healthy practices and behaviors to maintain or improve personal health.
7.2.2. Demonstrate behaviors that avoid or reduce health risks.
- Study healthy and unhealthy foods
- Learn the basic food groups
- Practice sorting
- Learn about the importance of health and nutrition
- Develop healthy eating habits
- Analyze magazine cutouts of food and determine its food group.
Magazine cut outs of food, glue, and scissors
Set Up and Prepare
- Cut up food pictures from various magazines. If you do not have time for this prep, ask parents to cut up food with their children and bring in the cutouts. Look to the Internet and print out any foods that you are unable to find.
- Make a pyramid.
- Use two 22x28" or larger poster boards. We recommend the larger, the better.
- Place the length of the two poster boards together
- Use a yardstick to sketch two diagonal lines that start at the top corners where the two poster boards meet and end at the opposite bottom corners. This will create two halves of a large triangle.
- Divide the left poster board into two triangles for grains and vegetables.
- Divide the right poster board into four triangles for meat & beans, fats & oils, fruits and milk.
- Be warned, this is not an easy process but the activity is well worth the difficult prep.
- Break students into six groups and give them their triangle.
- Place all of the foods mixed up together on the rug.
- Each group independently needs to choose to work as a searcher or a gluer.
- The searchers job is to go to the pictures and find the foods that should be glued to their triangles.
- The gluer's job is to go to remain with the triangles and cut the pictures to fit on the triangles.
- Once all of the triangles are filled, bring them to the meeting rug and have each group review the foods that they glued onto their triangle.
- Have students work in their food groups to brainstorm a dish that they can make for the class that uses some of the foods in their triangle.
- My Colorful Plate: Give each child a piece of white paper with a large circle drawn on it. This circle is the plate. Remind them that a colorful plate is the healthiest plate. Tell the children that you want them to make a colorful plate with the leftover magazine cutouts. Have all the children gather in a circle and share their plate with the group or a friend.
- Ask the children to take note of what they had for dinner and talk with their families about the food groups they ate from over the course of the day. Discuss findings with the class the following day.
- Make a book with your parents and siblings called "The Food Groups We Eat". Once completed, bring it to school and share it. *Maybe a parent will have the time to come and read their family's book to the class.
Did this lesson help your students learn about nutrition?
It is important that the children engage in the activity. It is fun and allows for deeper group discussions.
- Observe and record the student's ability to find the food for their group.
- Also, observe and record their level of engagement throughout the duration of the activity. Was the child able to maintain his or her attention through the post-sort review?