March is National Nutrition Month! This year’s theme is Bite Into A Health Lifestyle. Teaching children about nutrition and helping them learn how to make healthy nutrition choices is a great way to prevent childhood obesity and help children stay healthy as they grow up. Here are five fun ways you can teach the children in your care about nutrition:
1. Play The Veggie Game
Adapted from an activity featured in The Budding Chef, The Veggie Game is a great way to teach preschoolers about vegetables while introducing them to foods they may not normally eat.
Ingredients: carrot, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, green pepper, head of lettuce, onion, zucchini
What to Do:
- Place the vegetables on a tray.
- Introduce each vegetable to children and talk about each one.
- Read the riddles that follow, and see if children can guess which vegetable matches the riddle.
- After children solve each riddle, pass the vegetable around for children to touch and smell.
- I am long and orange, and you can eat me raw or cooked.
- I can be yellow, red, white, or green. Sometimes I can be very hot. People often put me on their hamburgers.
- I am crunchy and green. I often have little strings on me. Sometimes, children enjoy eating me with peanut butter.
- I look like a group of little trees with stems and green leaves. I am very good for you.
- You can cook me in many different ways; I can be mashed, fried, or baked. I can be red, white, brown, or even purple, and I have little eyes on my skin.
- I look like a green cabbage, I am full of Vitamin C, and I am very cute and small.
- I am sometimes green, sometimes red, and sometimes yellow. But I almost always have a bell shape.
- I am long and green. Inside, I am a whitish color. Some cooks use me in breads or cakes and as a vegetable for dinner.
- I am green and round. People use my leaves for salads and sandwiches.
Answers: 1) Carrot, 2) Onion, 3) Celery, 4) Broccoli, 5) Potato, 6) Brussel Sprout, 7) Pepper, 8) Zucchini, 9) Lettuce
2. Explore Nutrition Subjects with Garden Heroes®
Great for preschoolers and younger elementary students, the Garden Heroes® Activity Book features a variety of educational activities that help children learn nutritional information. Featuring the Veggie Garden Heroes® and the Fruit Garden Heroes®, the recipes, fun facts, trivia, and activities included in the activity book are sure to be a hit with children!
3. Play Healthy Foods & Portions Bingo
For students in kindergarten through fifth grade, the Healthy Foods & Portions Bingo game is a great way for children to learn about the USDA’s MyPlate and what correct portion sizes look like. You can also try making your own Bingo cards if you want to teach children other important nutrition concepts.
4. Discuss Nutrition with Bilingual Photo Food Cards
Using Bilingual Photo Food Cards in the classroom is the perfect way to discuss nutrition with students while also teaching them another language (cards labeled in Spanish and English) and introducing them to a number of food groups.
5. Play the MyPlate Pursuit Jr. Board Game
A great game for both preschool and primary grade children, the MyPlate Pursuit Jr. Board Game will help children learn MyPlate concepts, discover food group facts, and find ways to be physically active.
Be sure to check out our Nutrition section for a variety of materials and resources you can use to teach your students about nutrition.