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ITKOBStudents will be introduced to the five basic food groups and learn to identify and classify foods into categories.ITKQOI How can I show value for myself and those around me? ITKCCAPPRECIATION-Learning to eat a variety of healthy foods shows appreciation for our bodies.
Social Emotional Learning Standards (Illinois) – Early Elementary 3B.1B Make positive choices when interacting with classmates.ITKMATERIALSFood Tubs (see Preparation)
Brown Grocery Bags (6 bags per group)
Food Group Labels 
MyPlate Image
Food Pictures (optional)ITKPREPPrepare tubs of food samples by collecting a variety of empty food boxes, cans, jars, packages, etc.  To help represent perishable items (i.e. carrots, apples, grapes, etc.), you may include plastic food in the tubs as well.  Make sure each tub contains a variety of healthy foods representing each of the five food groups.
Place Food Group Labels on each bag. ITKBB4 food groupsThe United States Department of Agriculture provides recommendations for healthy eating.  MyPlate illustrates the five food groups that are the building blocks for a healthy diet. Our bodies need a variety of foods from each group to stay healthy and strong.
GRAINS – Give us energy and strengthen the nervous system.
VEGETABLES – Keep teeth, gums, skin and hair healthy; help with growth and eyesight; help brain and digestive function.
FRUITS – Give us energy and help our muscles; keep teeth, gums, skin and hair healthy; help with growth and eyesight; help our heart and digestive system.
PROTEIN – Helps us grow and improves brain function.
DAIRY – Keeps our teeth, bones, and muscles strong; helps repair body tissue when needed.
When we put gas in our car, it gives our car power.  What powers our bodies?  Food gives us energy and helps us grow and stay healthy.  Are apples healthy?  What would happen if you only ate apples each day and nothing else?  Eating a variety of different foods helps our bodies get all of the vitamins and nutrients that we need.

Show students the MyPlate image.  Introduce all 5 food groups and what each food group does to keep our bodies healthy.  Discuss some food examples from each group.  If desired, show food pictures from each group (i.e. rice, beans, kiwi, carrots, etc.) and have students try to guess which category each picture belongs in.  Introduce the EXTRA category for foods that are unhealthy or have no nutritional value.

  1. Divide students into small groups.Students
  2. Provide each group with a food tub and a bag from each of the food group categories.
  3. Instruct students to open each bag and set bags in a row on the floor or table with the labels facing out.
  4. Invite students to take turns choosing one item from the tub and placing the item in the bag that represents the food group to which that item belongs.

Encourage students to discuss their items and food group ideas with the group before placing the item in a bag.ITKMCWhat food groups give us energy?  What food groups help us grow and keep our bones and teeth strong?  How can we use food groups when preparing meals?  Why is it important to have all five food groups represented in a balanced meal?  What are your favorite foods from each category?  Were there some foods that were not healthy?  Why do we call these food EXTRAS?
ITKSHDiscuss foods (if available, show pictures) that contain foods from more than one category (i.e. Chef Salad, Pizza, Chicken Noodle Soup).  Have children try to name all the ingredients in the dish and identify the category to which each ingredient belongs. Discuss why eating more than one food group within a meal is beneficial to our bodies and our health. Brainstorm additional examples of multiple food group dishes as a group.



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