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The Food Groups: Food Pyramid Lesson Plan

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Lesson Plan #: AELP-NUT0016
Submitted by: Tara van Heumen
Email: tvh17@bellatlantic.net
School/University/Affiliation: Felician college, NJ Date: December 3, 1998

Grade Level(s): 3, 4, 5


  • Health/Nutrition

Duration: Two 40-minute sessions

Description: In this activity, students learn about the five food groups and how to use the food pyramid as their guide.

Goals: To learn the basics of good nutrition.

Objectives: The student will be able to:

  • List the 5 food groups that make up the food pyramid.
  • Explain orally and in writing the purpose of the food pyramid.
  • Define and give an example of each food group.
  • Separate a group of mixed food into the proper food groups.
  • Materials:

    • poster of food pyramid
    • dictionaries


  • Teacher will hold up a candy bar and an apple and ask students which do they think is better and healthier for their bodies.
  • Teacher will then ask the students if they ever think about what they are putting in their bodies before they eat something.
  • Teacher will then explain that in order to be healthy children should be eating more of certain foods and less of others.
  • Teacher will then list the six categories shown on the food pyramid (5 food groups: grains, protein, dairy, fruits, vegetables; and sweets/fats — use sparingly) on the board.
  • Teacher will then ask six students to get a dictionary and look up each word, the definitions will then be put on the board.
  • Teacher will then provide many examples and explain why they are examples of each group.
  • Teacher will then display the food pyramid poster located at the front of the room.
  • Teacher will explain to the class the purpose of the food pyramid and tell how many servings of each food should be eaten.
  • Teacher will then hold up more examples and ask what food groups they should be in, either asking if they are in a certain group, or asking what group they should be in a and why. (for example: hold up a bagel and ask if it is in the protein group and why or why not.)
  • Teacher will then restate the definitions and ask the children what they think should be added to the definition and why.
  • The students will then write each definition with 2 examples in their notebooks.
  • Assessment: Teacher will divide the class into 3 groups and give them each a box of assorted food products; the groups will then divide the products into the correct 6 categories and list them on a separate sheet of paper.

    Useful Internet Resource:
    * The Food Guide Pyramid