Education

Teach Food Groups to Pre-schoolers

If you are looking to teach Food Groups to Pre-schoolers, you are on the right page. I feel teaching food groups is an important step to teach about healthy eating.

With this activity, we discussed

  • Five food groups
  • Examples of each food group
  • Benefits of eating healthy food
  • What is unhealthy food, and
  • How much we need to eat daily

Why Pre-schoolers Need to learn Food Groups?

A few years back I had attended a seminar on child nutrition by renowned nutritionist Pooja Makhija organized by FICCI FLO Jaipur Chapter. She says if we want our children to eat healthy, we need to teach them from the beginning what is healthy, what is unhealthy, and the importance of a balanced meal. Tell them young, if we eat healthy food, we will be strong. Tell them what happens if we don’t eat healthy food. They may not pick the right choice in the beginning but eventually, if we equip them with the right knowledge, they will do in the future. And I totally agree with her. It has worked with my son. Whenever we sit for lunch or dinner, he always tells with pride I will eat this because I will be strong. At the same time, he also knows occasional indulgence in sweets and cakes is fine.

Five Food Groups

In our school days, the five food groups were represented in a pyramid shape. But now the design has changed. The pyramid structure has been replaced by a plate and cup. It is represented as My Plate. The plate has four divisions each for fruits, vegetables, grains, and protein. Dairy is depicted by a glass of milk.

food groups for preschoolers

Pre-schoolers may not understand the function of each group. They will understand that these food groups are necessary to become strong and healthy and what kind of food belongs in each category. For kids 6 years and above, you can teach in detail the functions of each category like grains contains carbohydrates which give us energy. Dairy contains calcium which keeps our bones and teeth strong.

Food Sorting Printable

I specially prepared this printable for my son to teach about five food groups and examples of each category. You can download it from here. The printable consists of My Plate diagram and 30 images of food to sort in the correct food group. I laminated the sheet so that it can be reused.

Download Free Food Sorting Printable

Teach Food Groups to Pre-schoolers

My plate sheet gives an idea of what are the different food groups and how much food we need from each category.

The sorting activity helps in a better understanding of each category. The child needs to put different food in their respective category.

Food groups sorting activity

After we sorted different food items into different food groups we began talking about healthy and unhealthy foods.

Food Sorting Activity with Real Food

I decided to set up another activity of food sorting for him. This time with real food. And he thoroughly enjoyed it. I placed real food in front of him and asked him to put it in under different food category labels.You can download the labels from here.

Download Food Group Label

food group sorting with real food

Let me know in the comments if you found this Food Groups Sorting activity interesting and will try it with your kids.