I. A Well Balanced Meal
Age: Preschool-3rd Grade
Concepts: Grouping, Classifying, Comparing, Taste, Nutrition, and Critical Thinking
II. Introduction: The children will already have a prior knowledge of foods that they eat because everyday they are given a properly balanced meal prepared by the cooking staff. After completed this lesson, I want the children to understand the importance of the five food groups. I also want them to understand how to create a properly balanced meal with real food.
(Note: In this lesson, I have chosen to omit sweets, fats, and oils because I want to reinforce healthy eating habits. However, I do think that the children should be aware of the nutritional content of these types of foods.)
III. Objectives: This lesson will teach children how to make a properly balanced meal from all five of the food groups. This objective will be measurable by the foods that the children choose to both eat and glue on their plates.
IV. Materials Needed:
Pencils, Markers, or Crayons
Food Pyramid Diagram
Food Names and Food Group Labels
Showdown at the Food Pyramid by: Rex Barron
Edible (Choose from the following):
Grains: oats, bread, crackers, rice, cereal, noodles
Vegetables: carrots, broccoli, lettuce, tomatoes, corn, potatoes, spinach
Fruits: apples, bananas, oranges, strawberries, juice (100%), peaches, raisins
Dairy: cheese, milk, yogurt
Meats and Beans: eggs, tuna, beans (cooked)
Note: Oils are not a food group, but you need some for good health. Get your oils from fish, nuts, and liquid oils such as corn oil, soybean oil, and canola oil.
1. The teacher may start off this lesson by reading Showdown at the Food Pyramid by: Rex Barron. Be sure to allow time to ask the students reading comprehension questions that will aid in your discussion on the importance of the food pyramid. Also, be sure to emphasize the many groups of the pyramid (this will help the students with their grouping and critical thinking skills later in this activity).
2. Once the teacher feels that the students have a good understanding of what the food pyramid is, he or she may begin to ask the students to label and or name the foods that are displayed on the table. Ask the students to taste some of the foods. Which foods taste sweet, bitter, bland, salty, squishy, hard, etc?
3. Once the students have tasted and named all of the foods that are displayed on the table, the teacher may aid the students in grouping the foods by the five food groups as listed on the food pyramid. The teacher should guide the students when they are classifying and grouping the foods.
4. When all of the students have placed the proper food labels on the foods displayed in the five food groups, the teacher may then allow the students to pick one food from each of the groups to create their own well balanced meal.
5. Be sure to supply the students with paper plates, glue, pencils, markers, and crayons. It would also be good idea to have something healthy for the kids to drink in case they get thirsty while snacking during this lesson. Also, be sure to supply napkins because there is sure to be a mess!
6. Once all of the students have glued their selected food onto their plate, then they may attach the group labels next to the food that it describes. For example: A child will put the fruit label next to the apple that is glued onto the plate. By having the students place labels onto their selected foods it will again reinforce their understanding of this activity.
VI. Assessment Tool(s): The assessment tools that I have chosen to use for this lesson include the following:
1. The completed well balanced meal plate
VII. Documentation of Idea Source:
Idea by: Meghan Webb
Worksheet and Diagrams provided by:
Modification for Diverse Learners: If there were any students in my class that needed assistance, I would pay special attention to accommodating my lesson to their educational needs, as well as my regular students’ educational needs. If required, I would work one-on-one with the student or assign the student with a “study buddy”. I feel that in using these types of services, I will be providing the best possible and least restrictive learning environment for a child with a mild to moderate disability.
Lesson Labels (Use Clip Art)