3 Learning Activities to Teach Your Preschooler Healthy Eating Habits

March 09, 2020

Healthy eating habits are most effective when they’re established early on. Today we are going to discuss three learning activities you can do with your preschooler to help familiarize them with the five food groups and how they can make healthy eating choices, even when you’re not around!

Explore the Five Food Groups

For the three learning activities below it’s important that you and your preschooler have a good understanding of the five food groups so let’s explore them here: illumination learning studio 3 learning activities to teach your preschooler healthy eating habits

  • Dairy (milk, cheese, yogurt, pudding, and ice cream)
  • Protein (meat, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts)
  • Fruits (juices and dried fruits as well)
  • Vegetables
  • Grains (rice, oatmeal, bread, crackers, pasta, etc.)

1. Fun at the Grocery Store!

Trips to the grocery store are unavoidable so you might as well make the most of them for you and your preschooler! Visit all the different areas where the five food groups can be found and make a list of what foods you see for each of the food groups. Take the opportunity to discuss colors and textures of different foods but be conscious of other shoppers and only do this when it’s appropriate.

2. Plastic Food Fun – Have an Indoor Picnic

Don’t have plastic food? Don’t worry! You can normally find plastic food sets online or at a local toy store. To get started, have your child sort the food into the food groups you just learned about. You can write each food group on a white paper plate and have your child place the fruits on the fruit plate, veggies on the vegetable plate, etc.

Once your child is comfortable with the food groups, have an indoor carpet picnic! Using plastic food and paper plates, have your child create a healthy plate using one food from each of the food groups. Once they’ve created a plate, talk about what choices they made and provide tips for improvement when necessary.

3. Sometimes Food and Anytime Food Game

For this activity you will first need to define what sometimes and anytime foods are. So, let’s start there!

  • Sometimes foods: These are foods that your children ask to eat and sometimes you say yes. Cookies, cake, and other sugary unhealthy foods fall in this category.
  • Anytime foods: These are foods that you will always say yes to when your child asks. Think healthy: fruits, veggies, etc.

Now, we’ve defined the two terms above let’s take a look at the activity. This game is fun in a small group, so you might consider playing it on your next play date or with the entire family! After reviewing the definitions laid out above, call out a food and ask if it is a sometime food or anytime food. Make a graph and see how many sometime foods and anytime foods you can name.

You can keep the fun going by asking your child daily what they are eating for meals and snacks and see if they can tell you what food group it belongs in and if it is a sometime food or an anytime food.

We hope you enjoy this fun and yummy adventure into healthy eating! For more activities like this check out our Preschool and Pre-K programs that are now enrolling for Fall 2020. Learn more about our programs and how to schedule a tour here.

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