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Teaching Your Child about Food Groups

2014-03-24 by Kim Vij

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These ideas for teaching your child about food groups are brought to us by Kim Vij from The Educators’ Spin On It.

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March is National Nutrition Month. Let’s build a healthy foundation with our kids with a few playful activities with pretend food. Ask yourself a few questions before we begin:

  • How well do you think your child knows the names of the food groups?
  • Do you think they would be able to identify which food group a food item belongs in?
  • Could they tell you which portion should be on their plate of each?

teach your child about food groups child selecting fruit

As parents, one of our jobs is to help them understand the role of proper nutrition in our child’s lives.  Let’s help them understand how to fuel their energy tanks with healthy choices with a fun activity.  Two  resources to utilize are Let’s Move and Choose My Plate; you can print out your own “My Plate” version to hang out your fridge or create a placemat for your table this month.

teach your child about food groups sorting pieces

Food Group Activities

Now it’s time to teach them what belongs on their plates at every meal.  Take a look around your house and locate any play foods that you have.  Melissa & Doug has a Wooden Food Group set, Cutting Fruit and Cutting Foods … fun options for this activity. You also have the option of using Make a Meal Stickers or images from a Magazine or Grocery Store Advertisement to sort into food groups too. Once you’ve gathered your foods, it’s time to sort them into food groups.

teach your child about food groups crates and name tags


Food Group Activities

  • Write or print out the words to match each food group and label. {Click here to print}
  • Sort the play food into the food groups
  • Cut out food from magazines and fliers and sort
  • Create patterns with the foods

teach your child about food groups play food and picnic basket

  • Create a plate with the right portions
  • Create a “My Plate” placemat
  • Set up a pretend grocery story with various food sections
  • Create a Food Groups Book
  • Check out books form the library about food groups
  • Set up a tour of your local grocery store

teach your child about food groups girls playing on floor

Teaching food groups at an early age is an important step to a lifestyle of healthy choices. Talk with your child about food groups with them as you grocery shop, prepare meals, order meals and even as you plan to set up your garden this year. It will help your child to understand food groups and where food comes from laying the foundation for a healthy nutrition.

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Kim Vij

Kim Vij is an early childhood educator and mom of three. She shares her “Educator’s Spin” on parenting issues and how to make everyday moments into learning opportunities at The Educators’ Spin On It and award winning Pinterest Boards. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google + and Pinterest!

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