Little Lambs Stars: Healthy Food
Listen to a book about healthy foods
- Let’s Eat: What Children Eat Around the World by Beatrice Hollyer (Henry Holt, 2004) or a book of your choice
- Good Enough Eat Guide Nutrition by Lizzy Rockwell
Say three things you learned about healthy foods
Ahead of time, consult such international health organizations as WHO (who.inst) and UNICEF (unicef.org), and UN Food and Agriculture Organization (fao.org). Research what kinds and quantities of food children should be consuming to be considered healthy. In some cultures, obesity is a problem, while in other regions poverty and malnutrition are more of concern. Be sensitive to the needs and background of the children and parents in your group as you lead this award. USA has the MyPlate Guide.
You probably know you need to eat protein, but what is it? Many foods contain protein (say: pro-teen), but the best sources are beef, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products, nuts, seeds, and legumes like black beans and lentils.
Protein builds, maintains, and replaces the tissues in your body. (Not the tissues you blow your nose in! We mean the stuff your body's made up of.) Your muscles, your organs, and your immune system are made up mostly of protein.
Vitamins and minerals are substances that are found in foods we eat. Your body needs them to work properly, so you grow and develop just like you should. When it comes to vitamins, each one has a special role to play. For example:
Vitamin D in milk helps your bones. Vitamin A in carrots helps you see at night. Vitamin C in oranges helps your body heal if you get a cut. B vitamins in leafy green vegetables help your body make protein and energy.
Just like vitamins, minerals help your body grow, develop, and stay healthy. The body uses minerals to perform many different functions — from building strong bones to transmitting nerve impulses. Some minerals are even used to make hormones or maintain a normal heartbeat.
Play a game about healthy foods
Teaching Idea: Fruit Kabobs
- A variety of fruit
- Wooden skewers, coffee stirrers, or swizzle sticks
Ahead of time: Cut a variety of fruits into bite-size pieces and place each type of fruit into separate containers. Use lots of bright colors and great scents. Show the children how to put fruit onto wooden skewers, coffee stirrers, or swizzle sticks to make colorful kebabs. As the children make their own kebabs, talk to them about healthy eating, taste, touch, and scents. Let them eat each kebab as soon as it is made. Repeat several times.
Other Teaching Idea Starters
Online Game: Dairymen of California have this great interactive 'My Plate Breakfast" online interactive game
Matching Game: A group game can be created with pictures of food on index cards (pairs). Create piles of the types of foods (from all food groups). Children must look at the picture and decide if it is a fruit group, vegetable group, protein group, or breads and rices group. Family groups or adults mixed with small groups of children work best for this age grouping for this activity. Link for cards
Make a healthy foods craft
Work with either real foods or with pictures/sketches/clipart of healthy foods like those they have learned about in this award.
Teaching Idea: My Paper Plate Materials: Glue sticks or school glue; Paper plate, pictures of foods that would naturally go together yet be nutritious (ex. Noodles and vegetables, salads and casseroles and beans, beans and rice and vegetables, fruits of all types. All these pictures should be small enough (and pre-cut from colored paper) so that when the children glue them onto the plate quickly in the proportions recommended by the UN/FAO/UNICEF. Procedure: Ahead of time copy and cut out the food items. Arrange “piles” of food types in the middle of the craft center table. Have a paper plate for each child. Help the student create glue zones on their plates so that they can choose and attach foods that together make a healthy meal. Let project dry.
Teaching Idea: Making Snacks Materials: cups to place a few healthy snacks into. Items such as goldfish crackers, fruit juice boxes, carrot sticks or broccoli florets all tend to work. Please check health forms for allergies before assembling the snack cups. Procedure: Have Little Lambs wash their hands, then help assemble healthy snacks for the entire group or club. As you eat, ask them what makes it a healthy meal and what other things would make healthy snacks.