As educators, we know that teaching the whole child is a goal we strive to achieve. Balancing the importance of academics and social learning can lead to a successful classroom environment. Oftentimes I overlook the opportunity to teach one vital aspect of our students’ lives: healthy eating! I’m excited to share an engaging lesson to enrich your students’ experiences focused on promoting healthy eating habits.
We want our students to come to school healthy and strong! Spending time reading books about eating healthy habits can be a simple, yet effective way to get the message across. I plan to spend time during morning meetings to talk about how important it is to keep our bodies healthy. The read aloud suggestions below help me carry out these conversations. Many of these titles will allow children to explore all the different types of food out there.
To kick off this weeklong dialogue, I plan to read “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.” While this book does not necessarily point out all the healthy foods, it does however highlight the importance of not overindulging in sugary foods. This will be the perfect hook for your little learners! No one likes a bellyache!
Moving forward, a sometime each morning can be spent discussing where foods grow and how they make it to your local supermarket, as well as why certain foods are good for your body. It can also be very important to point out that it is okay to have unhealthy food in moderation. My students know how much I enjoy sweet treats! Incorporating physical activity to support healthy eating is great too!
Getting students to become excited about the topic will be easier than getting them to try new things. The perfect culminating activity that will encourage students to take risks with trying new foods is having an “Eat the Rainbow” food tasting! These silicone-baking cups made for perfect tasting portions!
The “Eat the Rainbow” activity will also promote the idea of how important it is to have a rainbow of colors to fill your plate. After students taste their rainbow foods, they can even complete their very own “healthy plate” activity (see below). They will be so proud of themselves for trying new foods!
Some modifications for this activity can even be made to fit the needs of your students or classroom! Rather than having them try the foods, students can cut and paste them on their “healthy plate.”
Save it for later!