Grade: Elementary
Subject: Health

#1325. The Food Pyramid and it's importance

Health, level: Elementary
Posted Tue Nov 7 05:51:00 PST 2000 by Lisa Craig (
Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Indiana, USA
Activity Time: 1 hour
Concepts Taught: What types of food are healthy and why.

The purpose of this lesson is to introduce the six food groups of the food pyramid. The six food groups will be discussed so the students are aware of what foods are healthy and unhealthy.

The students will demonstrate and understanding of the food groups by categorizing foods in the proper area.
Given the six food groups in the food pyramid each student will be given twenty pictures of foods and asked to place them under the correct category without any errors. (Application)

Picture of food pyramid
Picture of apple and candy bar
Envelopes with pictures of 20 foods for each student
Pictures of different foods in each group


1. Show the students a candy bar and an apple. Ask the students, which they think, is better and healthier for their bodies.
2. Ask the students if they ever think about what they are putting in their bodies before they eat something.
3. Explain that in order to be healthy children should be eating more of certain foods and less of others.
4. Ask the students if they know any of the six food groups. List them on the board.
5. Ask the students if they know what the food pyramid is and write it on the board.
6. Provide examples of each food group by using pictures.
7. Display the food pyramid picture.
8. Explain to the students the purpose of the food pyramid and tell them how many servings of each food should be eaten a day.
a. Food pyramid - a general guide that lets you choose a healthy diet that is right for you.
b. Breads - (6-11servings) Provide complex carbohydrates and important source of energy. They also provide B vitamins, minerals and fiber.
c. Meats - (2-3 servings) Animal foods are excellent sources of protein, iron, zinc and B vitamins, as are in beans, nuts and seeds.
d. Milk - (2-3 servings) richest sources of calcium. They also provide protein and vitamin B12.
d. Fruits - (2-4 servings) Rich source of vitamins, mostly vitamin C.
They are low in fat and calories.
f. Vegetables - (3-5 servings) provide vitamins (especially A and C), excellent sources of fiber and are naturally low in fat.
g. Fats - (use sparingly) These foods provide calories, but little else nutritionally.
9. Tell the students each of these food groups provide some but not all, of the nutrients you need. Foods in one group can't replace those in another. No on food group is more important that another. For good health, you need them all.
10. Tell the students the following reasons why you need certain foods.
a. Calcium is needed for bone development and growth. It is found in milk, yogurt, fish with bones and some dark green vegetables, such as broccoli.
b. Iron helps the body produce energy. It is found in red meat, poultry, fish, and beans.
c. Carrots, spinach, and other fruits and vegetables are high in vitamin A and C. Vitamin A is important for good vision and healthy skin. Vitamin C keeps gums healthy and protects against infection.
d. Energy is important and comes from breads, rice, cereal, and pasta.
11. Ask the students questions.
a. What are some other foods in the bread group? Meat? Milk? Fruits? Vegetables? Fats?
b. Why are some of the foods in the bread group nutritious? Meat? Milk? Fruits? Vegetables? Fats?
c. What is you favorite food group? Why?
12. Review with the students what the food pyramid is, what the six food groups are and, how many servings you should consume a day.
13. Give each student and envelope with twenty pictures of different foods. Have them categorize them into the right food group without making any errors.