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Eating nutritious foods and getting plenty of exercise is important for everyone. This first-grade lesson plan from the Food for Thought nutrition curriculum teaches students about MyPyramid for Kids and the nutritious foods that belong in each of the five color-coded food groups.

Learning outcomes

Students will:

  • learn about the MyPyramid and the foods that are found in each of the food groups.
  • learn that exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle.

Teacher planning

Materials/resources

Teacher background information

Website: The food guide pyramid from KidsHealth.org.

Anatomy of MyPyramid
Document courtesy of U.S. Department of Agriculture
Open as PDF (278 KB, 1 page)
MyPyramid mini-poster
Document courtesy of U.S. Department of Agriculture
Open as PDF (173 KB, 2 pages)
MyPyramid for kids poster
Document courtesy of U.S. Department of Agriculture
Open as PDF (2 MB, 1 page)

Handouts

Match the food to its group
Provided by Nutrition Services Branch of the North Carolina Division of Public Health and published in the Food for Thought curriculum.
Open as PDF (42 KB, 1 page)
Time and activity
Provided by Nutrition Services Branch of the North Carolina Division of Public Health and published in the Food for Thought curriculum.
Open as PDF (117 KB, 1 page)
MyPyramid “go fish” cards
Game for students to play. Cut along dotted lines and laminate for long-term use. Document courtesy of U.S. Department of Agriculture
Open as PDF (2 MB, 16 pages)

Pre-activities

Students should be familiar with the mathematical concept of time.

Activities

  1. Ask the students to name an important scientific discovery or invention they have learned about. Accept all answers. Some ideas are the telephone, airplanes, spaceships etc. The main concept to convey is that when a new scientific discovery occurs, it can change our lives for the better. Sometimes we even change the way we live. For example, instead of candles we now have electric light. Tell them that today we are going to talk about another change.
  2. Show students the “MyPyramid for Kids Poster.” Tell students the food pyramid was changed in 2005 to do a better job of telling us how to eat healthy. There is a pyramid just for kids. Demonstrate that MyPyramid uses colors to teach the new things we have learned about eating healthy food. Ask students what they think might happen when we learn new things about eating healthy food.
  3. Using the “Food Guide Pyramid” website information, “Anatomy of MyPyramid,” “MyPyramid Mini-poster,” and “MyPyramid for Kids” teacher resources, cover the following:
    1. Foods on MyPyramid are arranged in groups. Help students use the key to learn which color represents which food group. Tell them we need to eat foods from all the colors each day. Point out the foods that people should choose more often and those they should choose less often. Explain the concept that we should eat more of the foods in the wider part of the color bands and less of the foods in the thinner part of the bands. Provide examples of healthy choices that we should eat more of every day.
    2. Everyone needs food to live and grow. But if people eat too much of some foods high in sugar and fat, they don’t have enough room to eat other foods that are good for them. Ask students to name healthy choices from each of the food groups.
    3. Discuss each food group in turn. Ask students to identify the foods they know that are shown on the poster. Ask about other foods from each group that they like or know about.
    4. Physical activity is important for good health. Children need to eat enough food to support growth and should be physically active at least 60 minutes every day, or most days. Ask students to name some of the activities they see on the poster. Ask students to describe some of the ways they stay active. Tell them that they should be active at least 60 minutes a day.
  4. Distribute the “Match the Food to Its Group” handout. Instruct students to read the name of the food and put an X in the column of the food group.
  5. Distribute the “Time and Activity” handout. Read the following:
    1. Susie likes to play hopscotch with her friends. She started to play at 4:00 and plays for thirty minutes. Draw on the clocks what time she started to play hopscotch and what time she finished playing. Write the times under the clocks.
    2. Tenika likes to go to the playground. She goes to the playground at 3:00 and plays for thirty minutes. Draw on the clocks what time she went to the playground and what time she will leave the playground. Write the times under the clocks.
    3. Jessie helps his mom clean the house. If he starts to clean at 4:30 and cleans for 30 minutes what time would he be finished cleaning? Draw on the clocks what time he started to clean and what time he finished. Write the times under the clocks.
    4. Ryan likes to play soccer. After school he plays soccer from 5:00 to 5:30. Draw on the clocks the time he starts and stops playing soccer. Write the times under the clocks.
    5. Tom likes to play tennis. He plays tennis from 6:30-7:00. Draw on the clocks the times he started and the time he stopped playing tennis. Write the times under the clocks.
  6. Play “MyPyramid Go Fish.” In addition to following the directions provided with the game, as a match is made, ask students if each food in the pair is in the wider or thinner part of the color band for the food group.
  7. Look at the lunch menu for the week and decide where each food belongs in MyPyramid.

Assessment

Assessment can be done from the completed handouts, verbal responses during the discussion of MyPyramid, and observation of students playing the “MyPyramid Go Fish” game.

  • Common Core State Standards
    • Mathematics (2010)
      • Grade 1

        • Measurement & Data
          • 1.MD.3 Tell and write time in hours and half-hours using analog and digital clocks.

    • North Carolina Essential Standards
      • Healthful Living (2010)
        • 1.NPA.1 Understand MyPyramid as a tool for selecting nutritious foods. 1.NPA.1.1 Select a variety of foods based on MyPyramid. 1.NPA.1.2 Contrast more nutrient dense foods from those that are less nutrient dense.
        • 1.NPA.3 Remember fitness concepts to enhance quality of life. 1.NPA.3.1 Recognize the benefits of physical activity. 1.NPA.3.2 Recall fitness and recreation activities that can be used during out of school hours.

North Carolina curriculum alignment

Healthful Living Education (2006)

Grade 1

  • Goal 4: The learner will apply knowledge and behavior self management skills to areas of nutrition and physical activity for healthy growth, development, and maintenance.
    • Objective 4.01: Categorize foods into the appropriate groups of My Pyramid.
    • Objective 4.02: Identify a variety of foods that are healthy choices in each of the food groups.