ABC and 123: A Learning Collaborative: National Nutrition Month

Thursday, March 26, 2009

National Nutrition Month

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Healthy Snacks and Food Games:

This Early Childhood Education site lists nutritious snack ideas & recipes you can put together with your children.

Shannon at Fly to My Window recently played two meal time games. The first game requires an eye mask. Kids use their other 4 senses to experience the meal.

After your meal play, "Don't Eat Pete!" Shannon links to the site where you can download a free game board. Anna at k e household shares sneaky smoothie recipes. Making smoothies provides opportunity to teach basic math concepts, while preparing a healthy, yummy snack!

Teaching Two made adorable little ladybug snacks!

Flipflops and Applesauce suggests beginning a Tasty Tasty Club. Each time your child tries a new food, punch a hold in their club card. When the card fills up the reward is a special activity. A Tasty Tasty printable card is provided.

For a space inspired snack try NASA's activity. Construct an edible model of a space transportation system. Although this lesson isn't intended to teach nutrition, the outcome is a healthy snack. It just might be enought to encourage little space enthusiasts to give carrots and celery a chance.

Nutrition for Kids has a few simple and brightly illustrated free games your child can play on the computer

Story Time Activities:

Use this lesson with Gregory the Terrible Eater. It was created as a K-2 group lesson, however it could be down in stages at home.

A Listmaker's Life has 3 ideas for learning from the book The Pie is Cherry.

Introduce the names of healthy fruits and veggies with the picture book Eating the Alphabet.

I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato is about siblings Charlie and Lola. Lola is a very picker eater. Find out how inventive Charlie gets his little sister to eat mouthsquirters. The book could be a springboard for an imaginative writing activity. Ask your child to choose a health food and make up their own use and name for it. Ocean nibbles, i.e. fish sticks anyone?

Food for Thought, by Saxton Freymann and Joost Elffers, shows off the duos flair for food sculping. You'll never look at fruit and vegetables the same way again. This book covers the basic concepts of shapes, colors, numbers, letters, and opposites. In the process your child will be exposed to pictures of some some new healthy foods to try. We love the different expressions and edible characters. Now, Katie from Katie's Nesting Spot can identify a bunch of new fruits and vegetables.

The Vegetables We Eat, by Gail Gibbons, is a picture introduction to vegetables. With its' bright watercolor paintings it is informative, while not overwhelming. It introduces readers to the different types of vegetables: leaf, bulb, flower bud, root, tuber, stem, fruit, and seed with clear and concise text. Read this book before planning a simple vegetable garden to tend this summer.

Worth Checking Out: Unfortunately Oliver's Fruit Salad is no longer in print but if your library has it try to borrow it. Katie from Katie's Nesting Spot read this at the end of a week long fruit unit. The pictures are bright and colorful. Accompany the reading with a class cooking project: a healthy fruit salad

Good Enough to Eat is a beginner's guide to nutrition, aimed at kids 5-9. The publisher has a readers' guide with suggested activities such as: drawing your family's favorite meal on a paper plate, cutting food pictures out magazines, and checking how the meal measures up to the food pyramid. Suggestions for older students include: keep a food journal for a week, compare the journal entries to the food pyramid, and use the 2 resources to create a healthier eating plan. Activities for food labels are also suggested.

Eat Healthy Feel Great is used in this activity provided by UEN. It is appropriate for first graders. Pdfs of food cards & a stop light are provided. It is a lesson complete with anticipatory set and details for assessment.

Nutrition Units:

DLTK has nutrition activities that include coloring pages & crafts. A simple, predictable reader is available. Accompanied by a worksheet, sequence cards, printable bingo cards, dominos, memory cards, and even name tags. There is also another story There's a Crocodile in Our Pickle Jar, with a more advanced story line, sequence cards, word search, etc.

First School has several health and nutrition activities for preschool many of which would also tie into alphabet or seasonal studies.

Kidz Club has a number of free worksheets and printable activities including: fruit & vegetable pictures you can use to sort, a farm to table matching activitiy, and a food pyramid art project.

Additional Reading:

How to Teach Nutrition to Kids, was written by a registered dietitian and shows that healthful eating and physical activity can be fun and positively impact your life. The book provides information on helping children learn to evaluate nutrition information, how to choose the right things to eat, and food preparationg techniques that make healthy eating fun. Step-by-step instructions are provides for 200+ activities.

Now that you've learned all about nutrition, it's time for a fun, nutritious snack... try Apple Cupcakes, we think serving them in a cupcake holder is a must!

1.Cut an apple in half
2.Put the half into a cupcake liner
3."Frost" with peanut butter or low fat cream cheese
4. Add raisins or granola "sprinkles"

Giveaway: A One Year Subscription to Parents Magazine

For today's giveaway we will be sending one reader a year long subscription to Parents Magazine.

You will receive one entry per comment. Please submit separate comments for each entry option you choose.

To Win:
Leave a comment
Send us a submission
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Good Luck! We will announce a winner tomorrow!


  1. Such fun ideas, I'm not sure where to start! OK, that APPLE CUPCAKE idea is one of the cutest things I've ever heard! My kids would get such a kick out of seeing that served in a cupcake holder- a definite must! Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. Great stuff! My family loves the Don't Eat Pete game. I'm actually planning on posting about the game soon. Anyway, the apple cupcakes look awesome. Thanks!

  3. Love the "cupcake"! We will have to make that! Thank you again for the great ideas!

  4. Hi! I would like to win!! :)

    Sorry, I don't understand the meaning of "send us a submission" can you explain me? I'm not very "computer" :P

  5. Great magazine, though I don't get it any more. Thank you!

  6. I am a happy and content follower.

  7. I am sooooo doing those apple cupcakes! Great post again, ladies!

  8. hi, i'm sneaking in today to visit!! i'd love to win a mag. subscription!! those apple cupcakes are too cute and yummy!


  9. my blog proudly wears your button!!!

  10. I love those apple cupcakes and the food games. So much fun to "play" with food!

    Of course, I'd love to add another magazine to my reading list!

  11. I've got your button on my blog too!

  12. Nice site with some great activities

    Stopping by from UBP to say "hi"- party on :-)