Kids don’t naturally know what is healthy and what isn’t healthy, they just know what tastes good-like candy! A first great step to start introducing food and nutrition is learning how to classify food. Our food groups activity and printable help introduce kids to the 5 food groups, and let’s them practice putting together a balanced meal. It’s simple to do, and is a lot of fun!
This activity is part of the Creative Preschooler series. Please be sure to see what other great food ideas the team has at the end of this post.
Printable: Food Groups Activity
Objectives: Introduction to food group classifications and healthy eating
Age Group: Preschool
Markers or Crayons
Pretend food/real food/or flashcards of food (I found some Food Group Cards created by the USDA)
1. To prep the activity: Cut out the food labels from the printable and place each one on a plate.
2. Let child color their own plate and cup. You may want to color each label a solid color, and color the matching food group on the plate the same color (Vegetable label, and plate portion are both green). The colors matching would be a great visual cue for helping with the rest of the activity. We would have done that, but Ms. Tiger wanted a rainbow plate instead.
3. To play the activity: Sort the food according to it’s type onto the plates. (We didn’t have milk products in play food form, so we used real food instead). Once sorted you could talk about what other things your family eats, and what plate they might go on. You might point out that sweets don’t make it onto the healthy plate of food.
4. Let child pick one food item off of each plate and put it onto the matching section on their plate.
Ms. Tiger loved this part, and we both (pretend) gobbled up each plate of food before removing the food, and starting over.