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Food Smarts: MyPyramid for Kids
Food Smarts: MyPyramid for Kids
Grade level: K-5 Subject: Health Duration: 1-2 class periods


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Student Objectives
  • Describe the six color bands on MyPyramid and what each represents.
  • Select a variety of food items from one food group and determine whether they are nutritious choices.
  • Use charts to determine recommended individual nutrition recommendations.
  • Create a menu of healthy food choices for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a snack.
  1. After watching the first segment of the video, open a class discussion on eating habits. What are their favorite foods? Which groups do these foods belong in? Which foods do they like the least? Why?
  2. Divide students into five groups and assign each a food group. Distribute the supermarket circulars to each group.
  3. Have students go through the circulars and cut out the food items that belong to their food group. (It's fine to have several copies of the same type of food e.g., cheese, these will be needed later.) Have the groups discuss and answer the following questions:
    • What are the health benefits of eating from this food group?
    • What foods belong in the wide part of this food groupís color band? (Foods that should be eaten more often.)
    • What foods belong in the narrow part of the band? (Foods that should be eaten less often.)
  4. Using the MyPyramid charts, have each student determine how many calories per day he or she should have and how much of this food should be eaten every day.
  5. Have each student select four or five of the cut out food items that they think belong in the wide part of the band.
  6. Form new groups made up of one student from each of the original groups. (Each group should have one member with cutouts of grains, one with vegetables, etc.)
  7. Ask the students to work together to form a nutritious meal plan using the food items they brought from their first group. They should decide on breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as a snack. Give each group a large piece of paper on which they can glue their choices. They may want to draw rows and columns with labels like this:

      Grains Vegetables Fruit Milk Meat & Beans
  8. When the meal plans are done have each group report to the class on the choices they made. Did they pick different colors of fruits and vegetables? Did they remember to select whole grains? If they chose fried foods, ice cream, or other foods high in fat or sugar, refer back to MyPyramid and ask which part of the color band those foods would belong in.

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Use the following three-point rubric to evaluate students' work during this lesson.
  • 3 points: The student accurately described what each color band on MyPyramid represents, correctly identified a number of foods within the assigned food group and determined whether each food was a nutritious choice, calculated his or her individual calorie needs, and created a well-balanced menu plan.
  • 2 points: The student described what some color bands on MyPyramid represent, correctly identified some foods within the assigned food group and was able to point out a few of the more nutritious choices, calculated his or her individual calorie requirements, and created a somewhat balanced menu plan.
  • 1 point: Student did not describe what any of the color bands on MyPyramid represent, did not identify foods within the assigned food group or determine which foods were the more nutritious choices, was unable to calculate his or her individual calorie requirements, and did not create a balanced menu plan.

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Definition:Starches and sugars that provide the body with most of the energy it needs
Context:Eating whole grain breads and cereals are a good way to make sure your body gets enough carbohydrates.

Definition:The foods and drinks you usually eat
Context:To stay healthy your diet should include foods from all of the food groups.

Definition:A high-energy nutrient
Context:Some fat is important for good nutrition, but too much can cause health problems.

Definition:The part of fruits, grains, and vegetables that canít be digested
Context:Getting enough fiber in your diet is important for good digestion.

Definition:Substances in foods that people need to stay healthy
Context:Apples are rich in nutrients, including fiber and vitamins A and C.

Definition:A naturally occurring substance found in animal products and some plant products
Context:Our bones and teeth need protein, which is found in meats, fish, eggs, beans and nuts.

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Academic Standards
National Academy of Sciences
The National Academy of Sciences provides guidelines for teaching science in grades KĖ12 to promote scientific literacy. To view the standards, visit this Web
This lesson plan addresses the following national standards:
  • Science in Personal and Social Perspectives: Personal and community health
Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning (McREL)
McREL's Content Knowledge: A Compendium of Standards and Benchmarks for K-12 Education addresses 14 content areas. To view the standards and benchmarks,
This lesson plan addresses the following national standards:
  • Health: Knows how to maintain and promote personal health
  • Health: Knows essential concepts about prevention and control of disease
  • Health: Understands the fundamental concepts of growth and development

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