The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently updated the food pyramid to a plate! The new simplified nutritional guideline is called MyPlate. Introduce MyPlate to your preschool class with these activities.
- MyPlate coloring sheet for each student
- Two enlarged posters of MyPlate
- Bean bags (ten to twenty)
- Pictures of different foods
- Play food
- Sticky back Velcro
A wonderful way to introduce MyPlate is to pass out the coloring sheets and color them together as a class. The preschool coloring sheet shows pictures of different foods to help your class understand what foods go in each group. This will help you explain what each section is. Explain that each section is a different size depending on how much you are supposed to eat from it every day.
In MyPlate, grains are orange, vegetables green, fruits red, milk and dairy blue, protein purple, and fats and oils yellow. Have students color the sections on MyPlate the appropriate colors.
Bean Bag Toss
Before playing this game, you will need to cut out an assortment of food pictures that can go into different MyPlate sections. Attach the food pictures to the bean bags using sticky back Velcro or glue.
In this game, students will toss bean bags onto the correct section of the enlarged MyPlate poster. Have students form a line. Give the first student a determined number of bean bags. Five is a good number to start with.
Have the student try to toss the bean bag with the food picture onto the correct section of MyPlate. Each bean bag in the correct section scores one point. The student with the most points wins. As the students become more proficient, you can increase the number of bean bags you give them, or you can award more points for tossing a bean bag into a smaller section.
If you have two enlarged posters, you can have two games going on simultaneously.
You will need to play this game outside. You can also play in a large indoor area, like a gym, where there is enough room to run without anyone getting injured. You will need two enlarged posters of MyPlate and two containers of play food for this game.
Divide your class into two teams. Have them form two lines. The leader of each line will take a piece of play food from the container and race to the MyPlate poster. The student will place the food where it belongs on MyPlate. He will then race back and tag the next person in line. The next person will do the same thing. The first team to place all of their food on MyPlate correctly wins.
Downloadable coloring sheets, posters and teaching ideas available at: http://www.choosemyplate.gov