Energize Me -Food & Nutrition Lesson Plan for Kids
In this activity, students will make the connection between good nutrition and energy, with an “energy” metaphor to launch discussion about food as “fuel” for doing the things they love to do. Then, they’ll investigate healthy foods that offer nutritional boosts and power!
DOWNLOAD THE ENERGIZE ME! LESSON PLAN
Goals and Skills
- Explain the connection between food and energy
- Identify healthy foods that “fuel” the body
- Select favorite recipe and food group based on text provided
Supplies and Preparation:
- Whiteboard or chart paper
- Download the MyPlate icon from www.choosemyplate.gov
Background for Teachers
Visit USDA’s www.choosemyplate.gov to download the MyPlate icon, for more information onnutrition, and for a list of healthy foods in each of the five food groups. Check out the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020 at https://www.health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/
Start a class discussion by asking the following questions:
- What is “energy”?
- What kinds of things run on energy?
For example - battery-powered toys (batteries), cars (gasoline),cell phones (batteries),TVs (electricity). Explain that people also need and use energy to blink their eyes, talk, move their arms, legs, and to run and play
- What do you think gives people energy?
- What does it feel like when you don’t have any energy?
Explain that the best sources of energy for people are foods that have many nutrients. We can’t see nutrients, so the best way to make sure we get them is by eating a variety of foods from all five food groups every day.
List the five food groups on the board: Fruits, Vegetables, Grains, Protein, and Dairy. Next, brainstorm a variety of foods from each food group with your students. For example:
- Colorful fruits and vegetables (like broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, berries, bananas, apples)
- Protein (like lean meat, chicken, fish, beans, nuts, tofu)
- Whole grains (like brown rice, whole wheat pasta, cereals, bread, tortillas)
- Low-fat dairy (like low- fat milk, yogurt, cheese)
List the foods from each food group on the board or chart paper. Ask students to share what their favorite food or beverage is from each food group and why.
Foods with lots of fat and sugar (like donuts, bacon, ice cream, cookies) don’t have as many good nutrients to help keep you energized throughout the day and should be eaten only some of the time.
Ask students: What is your favorite activity for which you need lots of energy? What could you eat as a meal or snack to give you energy?
Have students collaborate with a partner to combine foods from each of the five food groups as an energy snack.
Extend the Lesson.
Have students explore https://www.choosemyplate.gov/eathealthy/recipes-cookbooks-and-menus to find healthy recipes they want to try. Invite students to select the recipes that look tastiest to them and print them out.
Have students work in pairs to share and read their recipes together. Then have each student ask one another the following questions: Why did you pick this recipe? Which recipe do you want to try the most? Have students take home their healthy recipes to share with their families.
Challenge students to check out their refrigerators and pantry shelves at home with their parents to find “energy boosters.” Remind them that they can use the MyPlate icon and resources at www.choosemyplate.gov for ideas.
Have them work with their parents to list 5-10 foods and beverages, and then bring their lists back to class. As follow-up, chart the foods that appear on most lists.
As a class, evaluate the following:
- Which foods were most popular in students’ homes?
- Which were found less often?
- What new and nutritious foods might students like to try for the first time?
DOWNLOAD THE ENERGIZE ME! LESSON PLAN
Healthy Habits® is Presented by Lysol® in collaboration with NEA and National PTA
Education Standards: (NHES) Health: 1.2.1, 1.5.1, 5.5.1, 8.2.1; (CCSS) English Language Arts: RI.2-3.1, SL.2-3.1, SL.2-3.3
For more resources, visit CDC – Be A Germ Stopper Poster https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/pdf/294906-handwashing-superhero-boy-p.pdf
CDC – Healthy Schools Parent Engagement Materials https://www.cdc.gov/healthyschools/parentsforhealthyschools/p4hs.htm
CDC – Link to Eagle Book Series Knees Lifted High (Book 2), Plate Full of Color (Book 3), Tricky Treats (Books 4) https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/ndwp/eagle-books/early-readers.htm