Learning how to make healthy food choices is a life skill that really begins during the earliest days of feeding our children. Although this is a big responsibility for parents, educators and health professionals can help teach and reinforce this skill as well.
While social media makes cookies, cakes and gooey foods look like the best things ever, it’s no wonder why it's challenging to encourage children to make the healthier choice. With the right tools and guidance, you can teach and help kids of all ages understand why healthier options are the best.
We have designed these lesson plans from years of research, feedback and requests as well as our own experience as parents. Our lesson plans, showcasing Choose MyPlate, should be used based on the age of the children you are working with, or their level of education.
This is when we are just beginning to introduce children to MyPlate and the health benefits of eating a variety of foods.The goal of this plan is to help children become aware of the five food groups (dairy, protein, vegetables, fruits, and grains) of MyPlate. This lesson also helps children become familiar with which foods fit into these food groups.
It is also a good idea to begin talking to kids in this group about the importance of eating different foods from each food group and how it will help them grow, think, and have energy to play.
This is an age group where kids are very influential and at the same time very influenced by others. This lesson plan makes healthy eating fun and interactive by encouraging kids to share their own experiences with healthy food options. The kids can work in groups and even take their lessons home so the whole family may get involved with the lessons of the day.
Middle & High school:
Even if you think there’s no way to change these teenage minds, using this lesson will prove differently. The objective here in this age group, is to enforce what is working for them. Enforce why it’s so important to make those better choices when it comes to good grades, healthy hair, skin and nails, to perform better on the field and for getting their minds primed for college and beyond.
Remember, teaching what is best is one aspect. Modeling is a whole different game. Try to be aware of what you are eating and drinking so that the lessons taught are reinforced. The kids you are surrounded by are most definitely watching. You could even think of them as your personal accountability partners.