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Good Nutrition

Healthy Habits for Kids: Teach Kids About Breakfast

Starting the day off with a nutritious breakfast is so important, but for many students, this “habit” may not be part of their existing routine. This K-1 activity explores healthy breakfast options with a “tracker” component that allows students to tally their breakfast over a one-week period.

Child with backpack eating from a bowl of cereal and fruit
Download the Building the Breakfast Habit Lesson Plan
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Goals and Skills

Children Will:

  • Give examples of healthy foods in five food groups
  • Identify and choose healthy options for breakfast
  • Draw a picture of a breakfast food

 

Supplies and Preparation

  • Chart paper or whiteboard
  • Art supplies
  • Poster board
  • Make copies of My Healthy Breakfast Tracker Chart* (page 4 of PDF) and Power Breakfast List (page 5 of PDF) to send home to parents

Instruction Steps

  1. Exploratory Questions.
    Start a class discussion by asking students the following questions: What are some foods you like to eat for breakfast? Who can think of some foods that might make a good healthy breakfast?
  2. Our Favorite Breakfast Foods.
    Make a list of favorite and healthy breakfasts with the entire class. Together, choose and organize the foods in each food group: Fruits, Grains, Dairy, Protein, and Vegetables. Continue the brainstorm and prompt students to lead them to a list of nutrient-packed options in the five food groups:

    1. Fruit (fresh and dried fruits, 100% fruit juice)
    2. Grains (oatmeal, whole grain bread, whole grain/low sugar cereals)
    3. Dairy (low-fat milk, cheese, and yogurt)
    4. Protein (eggs, nuts and lean meats like turkey, chicken, or ham)
    5. Vegetables (while not as common at breakfast, veggies can be included, e.g., as a tasty filling for omelets, such as tomatoes, broccoli, or spinach

    Have students practice reading and spelling healthy foods by featuring them as vocabulary words. For example: fruit, banana, apple, bread, cheese, eggs, ham, tomato. Practice adjectives by having students describe the taste of each food. For example: sweet, salty, chewy, soft, crunchy, cold, warm.
  3. The Art of Breakfast!
    Provide students with art supplies and have students choose and illustrate their favorite breakfast foods. Encourage them to choose at least one food from each food group. Create a bulletin display with their colorful art, with the header, “Our Favorite Breakfast Foods.” Over the course of the month, add pictures of new foods tried as well as new vocabulary words.
A bowl of cereal and milk with bananas raspberries strawberries and blackberries

4. Track One Week of Healthy Breakfast.

As a class, track one week of everyone’s breakfast. Use the My Healthy Breakfast Tracker Chart. (You may want to create a large chart-sized version for this activity or copy it onto the whiteboard for easier access.) Every day, invite student volunteers to share what they ate for breakfast and add it to the list. Practice identifying which food group each item belongs to.

 

Identify new, healthy breakfast options to discover and try together as a class. At the end of the week, reflect on all the foods the class tried. Ask: Which were your favorite? Did you try something new? What did it taste like? What do you want to try next?

 

5. Extend the Lesson.

Distribute the My Healthy Breakfast Tracker Chart and explain to students that they will take their trackers home and use them for one week with their parents. Afterward, have students bring their trackers in to share with the class. Together, tally the foods eaten for breakfast during the one-week period. Add new breakfast menu foods to the bulletin board.

 

6. Home Connection.

Go over the Power Breakfast List with students. Then send copies home for parents along with copies of the My Healthy Breakfast Tracker Chart. Inform parents that the class is undertaking a quest to track daily breakfasts and focus on healthy options from a variety of food groups.

 

Invite parents to work with the students to track their breakfasts at home every day for at least one week, and return the completed My Healthy Breakfast Tracker Chart to class.

 

Encourage them to visit www.choosemyplate.gov for healthy and kid-approved recipe ideas!

Download the Building the Breakfast Habit Lesson Plan
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