Talk about Favorite Snacks
Help the children write down a list of their favorite snacks. Make up a list of
categories such as the ones listed below. Talk with the children about which
snacks belong in each category.
Finger Lickin’ Snacks
Plan a snack or a meal that can be eaten with the fingers. Nuts, crackers,
fruits, and vegetables are easy. Be brave and experiment with peanut butter,
yogurt, and other foods that are normally eaten with a utensil. Be sure the children have clean hands before they start this activity. Use spoons in the serving bowls. As they eat, talk with the children about how foods feel.
Caution: Young children can easily choke on raw vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts, peanut butter, hot dogs, etc. Do not give these foods to infants. Closely watch young children when they eat these foods.
Scoop Out a Pumpkin
Each child should have a spoon, a large dish for pumpkin pulp, and a paper
cup for seeds. Separate the pulp from the seeds and discuss the texture of
pumpkin. Use the pulp to make pumpkin pies, bread, muffins, or cookies for
the children to sample. Roast or fry the pumpkin seeds in oil and salt for a
Nutrition Lesson— place the food used in this activity into its food group:
pumpkin pulp is in the vegetable group. For older children, mention that
pumpkin is one of the dark yellow vegetables that should be included in their
diet several times a week.
Another way to point out texture and other sensory variations is to play
guessing games at the table.
Ask the children, “What do you have on your plate that is crunchy?” (a carrot)
What is red and slippery?” (jello) “Can you think of the only true blue food?”
Stir the following items into plain water. Give each child four spoons to dip
into the solutions to taste. Ask them which foods taste salty, sweet, etc.
Place sturdy foods, such as the ones listed below, inside clean socks or paper
Ask the children to reach into the sock or bag and identify the foods by touch
only. You may want to have pictures of the foods pasted onto a sheet of
paper. Ask the children to match what’s inside the bag to the pictures.
Ask them about how the foods feel.
Are they smooth? Bumpy? Fuzzy? Round?
Long? Large or small?
Place some of the items below in small containers.
Use plastic margarine tubs or empty 35 mm film canisters. (Ask parents to
save these for you.) Cut a slit in the lid. Glue small pictures from magazines or
drawings of each food onto a piece of paper. Have the children take turns
smelling the containers. Ask them to match the canister to the correct food
Ask the children to close their eyes or tie a bandanna over their eyes. Make
the following sounds and ask the children to identify the foods using only their
sense of hearing.
Hop Up to Good Health
This game will help children learn about different foods and help them understand the difference between anytime snacks and sometime snacks. Anytime snacks can help us grow, make us strong, and may help keep us healthy. Sometime snacks contain fewer nutrients than anytime snacks.
You will need:
1. game cards
2. box to hold game cards
3. chalk or tape lines marked on the floor for a starting line and the Good Health Goal line (30 feet away from the starting line)
Make game cards on 3" x 5" cards by pasting the picture of each of the foods from the list below to one side of each card. Write the number, 2 or 1, on the back of each card to show the category of the food.
To play the game, have 2 to 4 children at a time stand behind the marked starting line. Each child, one at a time, draws a food game card from the box. Each player says the name of the food on the card and reads the number on the back. If it is an anytime snack the card will have a number 2 on the back. This means the child may take two hops forward. If it is a sometime snack, the card will have the number 1 on the back.
This means the child may take one hop forward. The object of the game is to be the first to reach the Good Health Line by hopping.
Talk with the children about grain-based foods, such as bread, rice, pasta, crackers, cereals, even cakes and cookies. Children need 6 servings of grain foods each day. Talk about why we need to make sure that we choose some grain foods more often than others.
Discuss with the children foods that can be made with grains.
Read the story The Little Red Hen. Grains, like the wheat in the story, are the seeds of grasses. We eat many kinds of grass seed.
The little red hen could have taken any of these to the miller: rice, corn, barley, rye, oats or wheat.
Taste test breads made from different grains so that the children can see and taste the difference.
Use nutrition posters for a large puzzle or have children choose magazine pictures or draw pictures of food and food related ideas, such as farms, plants, gardens or animals.