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Counting on Good Health

Time Frame

5 class periods of 30 minutes each




Learning about the basic food groups and healthy snacks.


Poster of the Food Pyramid, Magazines, Scissors, Glue, Gregory the Terrible Eater by Mitchell Sharmat, Newspapers, Pinwheel, Paint, Two Large Poster Sized Goats

Instructional Procedures


  • Dole 5 A Day
    Great site for teachers and students. Teachers can order free classroom and student materials. Also fun site for students.
  • Healthfinder
    Games for students. Also links to several other good web sites for students.
  • Kidshealth
    Good information about various health topics including nutrition.
  • Nutrition Cafe
    Various games for students. Could also be used for classroom presentations.

Day #1

Have students sit in a circle. Show a pinwheel to the students.

Is the pinwheel moving? (No)
What does it need to make it move? (Wind, moving air, a fan, etc.)

Provide moving air for the pinwheel.

Why did the pinwheel stop moving? (Moving air stopped.)

What makes a car run? (Gas)
What happens when a car runs out of gas?
(It stops. It won't run.)

Have the students stand up. Have them run in place while they count to 20 or 30 (approximately 20-30 seconds). Have them sit back down in the circle.

What helped you run? (Energy)
What gives you energy? (Food)

Have students return to their desks.

Show a poster of the food pyramid or basic food groups. Discuss the different food groups.

The Milk Group
The Meat Group
The Grain Group
The Fruit Group
The Vegetable Group

Day #2

Review the Basic Food Groups/Food Pyramid

Provide various pictures or actual boxes/containers of food which will correspond with the food groups i.e., an raisin box, a cereal box, a bread wrapper, an acutal tomato, etc. Write the various groups on the chalkboard. Ask for student responses on where to place each item under the correct title.

Divide the class up into five groups. Each group will be provided with one poster, magazines, and scissors. Each group will work on finding the food which belong in that particular food group.

Example: Group #1 would be assigned to be the Meat Group. They will look for foods that belong in that group, cut them out of their magazines and glue them on their poster.

Day #3

Going Shopping. The class is going to use newspapers to go grocery shopping. The students can either work on their own or be grouped together. Assign groups to shop for food for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Have the students write down the food item and the price or cut out the object and the price. Have the students use calculators to add up how much their meal will cost.

Homework or in-class assignment. Provide each student with a graph which include a row for every food group. The students will color in a box everytime they eat an item from a food group. (Graph can be used from Dole5Aday Company.) For in class assignment--the class could graph school or home lunches.

Day #4

Picking Healthy/Non-Healthy Snacks. Read Gregory the Terrible Eater. Cut out/reproduce two poster size goats. On one write "Healthy Snacks" and on the other goat write "Unhealthy Snacks." Have the kids paint two snacks--one healthy and one unhealthy. When the paintings dry, have them cut them out and glue them on the corresponding goat.

Day #5

Culminating Activity
Have a Tasting Party. Have each student bring enough small servings for each student in the class. The food should representing one of the food groups. You can graph what foods were brought from which food groups.

Created: 07/25/2002
Updated: 01/17/2018