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Many traditional foods of different cultures have become staple foods that we eat in the United States, too. In this kindergarten lesson plan from the Food for Thought nutrition curriculum, students learn about the MyPyramid food groups and about foods of different cultures.

Learning outcomes

Students will:

  • learn the difference between food and non-food items.
  • learn about the food groups in MyPyramid.
  • learn about the traditional foods of different cultures.

Teacher planning

Materials/resources

Teacher background information

Website: The food guide pyramid from KidsHealth.org.

Materials

MyPyramid for kids poster
Document courtesy of U.S. Department of Agriculture
Open as PDF (2 MB, 1 page)

Handouts

Meet the five food groups
Provided by Nutrition Services Branch of the North Carolina Division of Public Health and published in the Food for Thought curriculum.
Open as PDF (421 KB, 1 page)
Is it food?
Provided by Nutrition Services Branch of the North Carolina Division of Public Health and published in the Food for Thought curriculum.
Open as PDF (294 KB, 1 page)
Around the world with food
Provided by Nutrition Services Branch of the North Carolina Division of Public Health and published in the Food for Thought curriculum.
Open as PDF (13 KB, 1 page)

Activities

  1. Using a world map or globe, talk about foods from around the world or read a storybook that highlights food and eating. Talk about favorite foods. Discuss color, size, shape, and texture of those foods. Once several students have shared, inform students that some foods are alike and some foods are different.
  2. Read Let’s Eat! What Children Eat Around the World by Beatrice Hollyer. This book will need to be paraphrased for kindergarten reading and comprehension level.
  3. Display the “MyPyramid for Kids” poster and use the “Food Guide Pyramid” website information to discuss each of the five food groups. Ask students to name foods from each group and have them identify the group in which their favorite food belongs.
  4. Discuss with the students items that are food and items that are not food. Ask the students:
    1. What things can we eat?
    2. Why do we need to eat?
    3. Why can’t we eat items that are not food?
    4. What would happen if we did?
  5. Using a world map or a globe, talk about children in different parts of the world. Ask students if children in other parts of the world eat the same kinds of foods we eat. Choose two to three different cultures and discuss the kinds of food they eat and how they prepare it. Ask students how it is different from the food that we eat.
  6. Distribute and follow the instructions given to complete the “Meet the Five Food Groups” handout.
  7. Distribute and follow the instructions given to complete the “Is it Food?” handout.
  8. Using the “Around the World with Food” handout, discuss where each of the foods listed comes from and record the different foods each child has tried. Optional: Create a large version of the chart using poster board and pictures of the foods. Additional foods can be added. Origins of the foods are:
    1. Taco – Mexico
    2. Croissant – France
    3. Egg Roll – China
    4. Mango – India, now common to all tropical climates
    5. Pizza – Italy
    6. Kiwi – New Zealand
    7. Avocado – Central America

Assessment

Assessment can be done from the students’ completed handouts and verbal responses during the classroom discussion.

  • North Carolina Essential Standards
    • Healthful Living (2010)
      • Kindergarten

        • K.NPA.2 Understand the importance of consuming a variety of nutrient dense foods and beverages in moderation. K.NPA.2.1 Recognize nutrient-dense foods in a list of foods that are culturally diverse. K.NPA.2.2 Summarize the importance of a healthy breakfast...

North Carolina curriculum alignment

Healthful Living Education (2006)

Kindergarten

  • 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 4.02: Explore a variety of foods and beverages for good health, including unfamiliar and culturally diverse foods.