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This lesson is designed to help students understand the difference between a healthy food choice and an unhealthy food choice. Combining the lesson with a game is a fun way to get students interested in what they are eating.
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MyPlate Picture (http://www.choosemyplate.gov/index.html)
Lyrics to The Apples and Bananas Song
Materials for the book: white paper, scissors, hole punch, yarn, marker, cut outs of food from magazines, glue
Materials for the preschool grocery center: an assortment of healthy and unhealthy foods, 2 hula hoops
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Make the books yourself ahead of time. Take white paper and cut it into four squares. Stack the four squares on top of one another, and punch a hole on the top and bottom left hand side of the book. Using the yarn, tie a bow through each of the holes. Then on the front of the book, write “My Book of Healthy Foods.”
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My Plate is a guide that can be used to teach children what types of food to eat. The government has now given it a new look and a new name, updated from the more familiar food pyramid. Make sure your students know about all the recommended food groups to become healthy, thoughtful eaters. Each section of the plate is color coated and sized differently. The students in the class need to have some idea of what My Plate is, before being taught the difference between a healthy and unhealthy food choice.
Show students a picture of My Plate. Discuss each section of the plate. Ask students what their favorite foods are and figure out where they fit on the plate.
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Teaching the Lesson
Start by singing The Apples and Bananas Song. Have students name different types of fruits and vegetables. Talk about how these are healthy food choices. Explain to students some of the advantages of eating healthy foods (i.e. gives you energy, helps you grow strong). Then discuss the disadvantages of eating unhealthy foods (i.e. hurts your teeth, bad for your body). Then show students foods from the grocery center. Discuss whether the foods are healthy or unhealthy.
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Give students a premade book. Show students the pictures from magazines. Explain to them they will go through the pictures and find healthy foods. Take this opportunity to once again talk to students about healthy foods. Once they have found the healthy food pictures they want to use, have students glue three pictures to each page of their book.
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Setup the grocery center with an assortment of healthy and unhealthy foods. Lay two hula hoops in the middle of the grocery center. One hula hoop will be for healthy foods, and the other hula hoop will be for unhealthy foods. Students will go through the grocery center picking up foods and placing them in the correct hula hoop.