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The Five Food Groups
by Rainee Schafer
Boise State University

Grade: Pre-school / Kindergarten
Time Allotment: 5 - 10 to 15 minute lessons
Subject Matter: Health, Nutrition and Food Groups

Children will learn about the five food groups as well as the specific foods found in each of these groups.

Learning Objectives:
Students will be able to:

  • Name the five food groups. These groups include: Grain / Bread group, Protein / Meat group, Dairy / Milk group, Fruit groups, Vegetable group
  • To name two specific foods found in each of the five food groups.
  • Select a healthy snack from one of the five food groups.

Standard 769 of the Boise School District:
Healthy Life Styles

Students will be able to:

  • Acquire the skills that lead to a healthy life.
  • To differentiate between healthly and unhealthy foods...

Media Components :
Episode # 111 "Best Behavior"
Segment: "Off to School"
Section where Caillou and Sarah sit down for lunch..


  • Picture of your favorite food.
  • Paper, crayons, markers, construction paper, scissors, glues and craft items.
  • Food Pyramid with food for each category
  • Caillou's Lunchtime Flash Cards
  • Food Pyramid Graph
  • Food Group Memory Game. Enough for your class in groups of two.
  • Parent Volunteers or Teacher Aids for Lesson 4 & 5.
  • Fruit (apples, bananas, and nectarines) Yogurt, Celery, Peanut Butter, and Raisins.
  • Several Picture Books discussing the five food groups and/or nutrition.

For this Lesson I used the following;

  • The Healthkin Food Train
    By: Jane Belk Moncure
    ISBN: 0-89565-240-4
  • What's On My Plate?
    By: Ruth Belov Gross
    ISBN: 0-02-737000-3
  • What Food Is This?
    By: Rosmarie Hausherr
    ISBN: 0-590-46583-X

Prep For Teachers
Inform science teachers of the lesson, so that they will be prepared if students approach them with questions.

  • Put together manipulatives from the four teacher's pattern pages. These include the food pyramid, the food pyramid graph, the food group memory game, and Caillou's Lunchtime flash cards.
  • Gather picture books discussing the five food groups.
  • Locate and prep the Caillou video.
  • Create a picture of your favorite food.

Introductory Activities
"My Favorite Food"

  • Share with the children a picture of your favorite food. This picture should be in the form of a drawing or craft made out of paper. Do not show the children a photograph of your favorite food.
  • Ask the children what their favorite food is.
  • Allow those children who wish to share, tell the group about their favorite food.
  • Ask the children to go create a picture of their favorite food.
  • Allow students approximately 10 to 15 minutes to create a picture of their food. If children need more time allow for them to finish up the activity while those children who are finished transition to the next activity.

Learning Activities
Lesson One:
The Five Food Groups

  • Have the children sit on the floor for group meeting time.
  • Tell the children "this week we will be talking about food groups." Explain how each type of food we eat belongs to a specific group. It is important that we eat food out of each of these groups every day.
  • Read the children the book entitled The Healthkin Food Train.
  • Show the children a picture of the food pyramid. Name each of the five food groups and explain three types of food that belong in each of these groups

.Lesson Two:
What is in Caillou's Lunch?

  • Using the Lunchtime flash cards created before the lesson, ask the children what each picture is.
  • FOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION, by telling the Children…"We are going to watch a video to see what our friends Caillou and Sarah are having for lunch. I want you to listen to the video and see if you can remember something that is in their lunch sack."
  • The video should be prepped and ready to play. PLAY video to the end of the lunch scene. REWIND the tape to the beginning of this section and have the students listen to it again. STOP the tape at the end of the lunch scene and turn off the T.V.
  • Ask the children if they remember one of the items mentioned in Caillou's and Sarah's lunch. As each item is mentioned have the student who mentioned the food come up and hold the lunch flash card so that the rest of the class can see it. Ask the class if the item listed was in Caillou's lunch or Sarah's lunch. Separate the items into two groups, the items found in Caillou's lunch and the items found in Sarah's lunch.
  • Ask the children if they know what food group each item belongs in? Go through each lunch item and talk about where it belongs in the food pyramid.
  • Have the students play the Food Group Memory Game.
  1. Have the class divide into groups of two to three students.
  2. Have children place the food group memory game cards face down on the table/floor, arranging them so they form a square grid.
  3. One at a time, have a child flip two cards over. If they match the child should name the food group those items belong to, pick up the cards and keep them, then they are able to take another turn. If they do not match the child should flip the cards face down and allow the next person to go.
  4. The students play until all the cards are matched

.Lesson Three:
What's on My Plate?

  • Read the book, What's on My Plate?, aloud to the children.
  • Have the children share what their favorite food is using the pictures they created in lesson one.
  • As a class, decide on which food group each student's favorite food best fits under, using the food group graph. Allow the child to paste/tape/attach their food under the appropriate column. Include a "mixed" column for those foods that have multiple groups.
  • Have the students count each column to see which food group is preferred by the class. Talk about the different options that are available for snacks in each the food groups.

Lesson Four:
The Grocery Store Field Trip: Community Connections

  • Students will go on a field trip to their local grocery store. Here they will be able to tour each section of the grocery store. Point out how each food group has a specific location in the store. Have the student's note where the fruit and vegetable section, the meat section, the dairy section, and the grain section are located.
  • Arrange the field trip with the owner or manager of the store so that they can give the students a "behind the scenes" look at how the store works. For example, this could include a tour of the bay where employees unload the grocery trucks.

Culminating Activity
Making a healthy Snack:

  • Have the students get into groups of four. Divide these groups up among the volunteers and helper in your class. Have children prepare a fruit salad, using fruit and yogurt and "ants on a log," using celery, peanut butter, and raisins. Have the volunteer's question the children about which groups each food belongs too.



  • Children graph and count favorite food.
  • Children could pattern with fruit and veggie cutouts.


  • Store items could be set out in the dramatic play area


  • Children could learn about the painting method used with still life portraits. They could paint their own still life of fruits and veggies


  • Children could practice writing letters and naming foods with the beginning sound of each letter in the alphabet.
  • Children could create a class book of their favorite foods and where they fit within the five food groups.


  • Have the students speak to environmental authorities in the community for information regarding their environmental artwork.
  • Invite an environmental artist into the class for a short discussion and/or presentation of his/her work.
  • Take a field trip to an environmental artwork.
  • Have the students collaborate and develop a proposal for an environmental artwork to be displayed on public property. Then have the students determine who the proper authorities are and submit the proposal to them.

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