Health and Nutrition Lesson Plan: Nutrition Plates


  1. Identify healthy eating choices from Food Guide
  2. Write a description of a healthy meal, including at least one choice from each of the four Food Groups
  3. Learn 4 food groups (vegetables and fruit; grain products; milk and alternatives; meat and alternatives).


  1. writing journal, pencil, eraser, scissors, white glue for all students
  2. huge collection of grocery store flyers (**I save them all year long for writing, so I give them each one, but you could get a group to share one.)
  3. paper plates for all students
  4. Copy of the Food Guide for all students
  5. paper placemats (or large sheet of paper to glue plate on, with glass of milk, plus written description)
  6. Cut pages from a journal for good copy of description of meal that will be glued to the right of the plate, on the placemat.


  1. Hand out the Food Guide sheet to all students.
  2. Show students the chart that shows the number of servings that their age group (children 4-8) should be eating every day (veggies and fruit, 5 servings; grain products, 4 servings; milk and alternatives, 2 servings; meat and alternatives, 1 serving).
  3. Talk about the meaning of  “alternative” (another food that has the same nutrients).
  4. Talk about what is a serving (one serving can be:  1 slice bread, 1 cup raw veggies, 1/2 cup cooked veggies, 1/2 cup juice, 50 grams cheese, 2 tablespoons peanut butter, 1/4 cup nuts, 2 eggs, 1/2 cup rice, 1/2 bagel, 1/2 cup pasta, 1 cup soy milk).
  5. Talk about the fact that for one meal, you need a variety of different foods.  You don’t need to get ALL the servings in one meal.  We have three meals a day, plus snacks.  Talk about healthy snacks (cheese, hard-boiled eggs, nuts, seeds, fruit, raw veggies, juice boxes, sandwiches) that we might have at recess time or after school.
  6. Teacher and students can begin a list of words for Nutrition and Healthy Eating.  Some of these words may be put on the word wall later.  The  list might include words like:  breakfast, lunch, supper, snacks, nutrition, healthy eating, vegetables, fruit, grain products, milk, meat, alternatives, love, like, tastes, good, yummy, crunchy, delicious.  (I draw pictures for some words.)
  7. Have students choose one flyer (or share them in groups).  Tell students that they are going to choose foods from the Food Guide, at least one food from each food group.  They will cut it out and glue it on their plate.  Next, they will write about the foods they have chosen, in their writing journal, double spaced (because this is a rough draft).  Students can get the spelling of their foods from the flyer or class word list.  Teacher checks it over and corrects it before it gets written in good on lined paper, then glued onto the right side of the placemat beside their plate of food, which gets glued to the placemat, along with a glass of milk or juice or soy (they can draw the glass or cut out the jug/Tetra pack and glue that on beside the plate).The writing will be something like the following:  (grade 1 will be minimum, ***This outline can be given to the class if you wish, especially if it is near the beginning of the year and they don’t know what you expect.  Otherwise, tell them you want them to identify the meal, pick at least one thing from all four groups, tell the name of each item and what group it belongs to, what it tastes like, looks like, and what you like about it.  For example:***”My Healthy Meal.  For lunch, I have___ from the __ group.  My ___ is from the ___ group.  My ___ is from the __ group.  My ___ is from the ___ group.  My lunch is ____.  It is ____.”           grade 2 will have more added to it, descriptions, “___ are ____.  I love ___.  The ____ is ______.  It is _____.)My Healthy MealFor lunch, I have an apple and carrots from the vegetable and fruit group.  Apples are crunchy and delicious.  I love McIntosh apples. My bread is from the grain products group.  It is Wonder+ bread. My sandwich has cheese from the milk and alternatives group and ham from the meat and alternatives group.  The cheese is swiss and it has holes in it.  I love swiss cheese. My milk is from the milk and alternatives group.  My lunch is healthy and delicious.
  8. Post the plates on placemats outside the classroom to raise awareness of healthy eating habits for other students.

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