Fun with Food
By creating a chart with the four food groups, I was able to highlight the difference between the food my toddler was eating and why it’s important to select food from different boxes. This activity was done over a couple week period. I focused on one food group each week, did the activity, talked about it, mentioned it at dinner etc.
Directions: Using Bristol board, divide with marker into four squares (I also left a small space at the bottom to discuss treats at a later time if I choose) Then, select which square to fill and activity to do.
Vegetables and Fruit
This was the easiest group for him to understand. The first activity we did was a fruit bowl (see the purple thing in the square!). We talked about his favourite fruits and as he named them, I cut them out of felt. He glued them onto the ‘bowl’ made of construction paper.What was great at the end, is that there was a variety of colour in his choices. We were able to talk about this as well. For vegetables, we did the activity from a preschool website here: Vegetable Basket //www.first-school.ws/activities/nutrition/veggiebasket1.htm and a Mr. Broccoli Head using this template: http://www.dltk-teach.com/alphabuddies/mbigboybroccoli.html
By far, this was the most fun activity because of the mess. I gathered all the grains I had in the cupboard (rice, couscous, oatmeal, flour, pasta etc) and put them in a container (I used an egg carton)Next, my son painted glue on a piece of cardboard (used a cereal box!)
Then, he added bits of the grains onto the glue. This got messy but it was fun! Let dry. Shake excess grains before adding to your board!
Meats and Meat Alternatives
Instead, I went through the cupboard and fridge and found examples of meat and meat alternatives: Peanut Butter, canned Salmon, Beans, eggs (using an old egg carton) – and I drew a fish and chicken leg!
He identified the foods, and we took the labels off if necessary and glued everything to the square.
Finally, to finish off the activity we talked about cookies being a treat and ‘sometimes’ food and read a book about Cookie Monster and cookies!
Have fun and encourage your child to talk about what they like about certain foods, their favourite things to eat etc.