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This food pyramid health lesson culminates with a nutritious “Pyramid Pizza Party”

Subject:

P.E. & Health  

Grades:

3, 4  

Title – Nutrition and the Pizza Party
By – Connie Ordway
Primary Subject – Health / Physical Education
Grade Level – 3-4

This is a very quick overview of the food pyramid and some facts about nutrition in our foods. It culminates in a “Pizza Party,” where children are presented with healthful ingredients for a mini-pizza, which they get to assemble and eat.

This also works well for Open House, to show off for the parents what they’ve learned about nutrition while offering them a snack!

Materials:

  • Health and Wellness, California, fourth grade addition. ( Well, I use this book, but any health book will have similar information — you would just have to find the right page numbers . )
  • Large Post-It notes, one for each student
  • Large drawing of food pyramid, with each food group’s “borders” drawn but nothing written on it
  • 5 index cards, one for each table ( It might be cute to cut these into the shapes of the empty food pyramid tables, so they fit neatly into the drawing when they’re completed .)
  • If you plan to have the “Pizza Party,” you will need the following
    • Enough English muffins for each student to have one
    • About 1 lb. shredded mozzarella cheese
    • 1 lb. pepperoni
    • 3 cans chunk pineapple
    • 2 green peppers, cut into chunks
    • 1 large jar pizza or spaghetti sauce
    • Sandwich-size Ziploc baggies
    • Small (1 oz.) containers with lids to hold individual servings, such as they sell at warehouse food markets
    • Disposable vinyl gloves

Day One

      1. Read page B38 together. Then give each of the tables the following tasks, and stress that they must work together and quietly.
      2. Table 1 reads B39, “Protein Builds Bodies”

        a. Have them discuss what Protein is and what it does.

        b. Agree on a definition

        c. All members write the same definition on Post-It Notes, and include what foods contain protein.

        d. Example: Protein: a nutrient that is needed to build, grow, and repair body cells. Meat, fish, eggs, dairy foods, nuts, and beans are good sources of protein.”

      3. Table 2 reads p B40, “Carbohydrates”

        a. Have them discuss what Carbohydrates are and what they do.

        b. Agree on a definition

        c. All members write the same definition on Post-It Notes, and include what foods contain carbohydrates.

      4. Table 3 reads page B41, “Fats”

        a. Have them discuss what Fats are and what they do.

        b. Agree on a definition

        c. All members write the same definition on Post-It Notes, and include what foods contain fats.

      5. Table 4 reads p B42, “Vitamins.”

        a. Have them discuss what Vitamins are and what they do.

        b. Agree on a definition

        c. All members write the same definition on Post-It Notes, and include what vitamins do for the body.

      6. Table 5 reads p B42, Minerals

        a. Have them discuss what Minerals are and what they do.

        b. Agree on a definition

        c. All members write the same definition on Post-It Notes, and include what minerals do for the body

      7. When all Post-It Notes are written, have students switch tables so that there’s a Protein person, a Carbohydrates person, a Fats person, a Vitamins person, and a Minerals person at each table.
      8. Have each table member share their nutrient, its definition, and what foods it is found in or what benefit it has for the body.
    9. Stick these Post-It Notes next to the empty food pyramid drawing. They will be used tomorrow.

Day Two

      Introduce the food pyramid, p B45. Ask students if they are familiar with this guide and discuss it if they wish to. Take a few questions if they have some. Then divide them up into their original tables again.
      1. Table 1 will use an index card to write out the “Breads, Create, Rice, and Pasta” group label, including how many suggested servings per day, but not the sample servings. Ask these students to write the same information on a large Post-It note, to be used tomorrow.
      2. Table 2 will use an index card to write out the “Vegetables” group label, including how many suggested servings per day, but not the sample servings. Ask these students to write the same information on a large Post-It note, to be used tomorrow.
      3. Table 3 will use an index card to write out the “Fruits” group label, including how many suggested servings per day, but not the sample servings. Ask these students to write the same information on a large Post-It note, to be used tomorrow.
      4. Table 4 will use an index card to write out the “Meat, Poultry, Fish, Dry Beans, Eggs, and Nuts” group label, including how many suggested servings per day, but not the sample servings. Ask these students to write the same information on a large Post-It note, to be used tomorrow.
      5. Table 5 will use an index card to write out the “Milk, Yogurt, and Cheese” group label, including how many suggested servings per day, but not the sample servings. Ask these students to write the same information on a large Post-It note, to be used tomorrow.
      6. The Fats, Oils, and Sweets group is up to you — you can make this, or you can give it to the early finishers to do.
      7. Each table will place their card into the correct section of the food pyramid.
      8. There should be 4 or 5 Post-Its with definitions for protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals on them. Have tables take turns putting their Post-It next to the group it refers to (they may have more than one group they need to refer to). For example, protein can be placed in the meats group and also in the dairy group.
    9. Save the leftover Post-Its for tomorrow’s activity.

Day Three

      1. Bring the Pizza Party ingredients to school.
      2. If you have time in the school day, have the students separate the ingredients into containers and bags, wearing the disposable gloves. Otherwise, you will have to do this at home beforehand.
      3. Draw or have a student draw a picture of the pizza on large poster paper. Remember that it should include every ingredient you brought, even if some kids won’t eat them all.
      4. Have one person from each food group use one of the Post-Its (there should be at least one left over) to label each ingredient of the pizza. For instance, the Carbohydrates Post-It can be next to the crust, with an arrow drawn in if it seems necessary. Again, they may have more than one group they need to refer to. The extra Post-Its come in handy.
      5. Have another person from that table use the food group Post-It to label which food group each item belongs to.
      6. Have the students who at the “Vitamins” table review the “Some Important Vitamins” chart on B42, and the students who did “Minerals” read the “Some Important Minerals” chart on B43. They should label each pizza ingredient with the vitamins and minerals it contains.
      7. Finally, have each student take the separate bag of English muffin, plus whatever ingredients they wish to add to their pizza, along with napkins (!), to their desks. They may assemble their pizza snack and eat up!
    8. If you wish to quiz them, here is a good summary of what they should have learned.

    • A nutrient is a substance in food that is used by the body.
    • There are 6 nutrients: protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, and water. (We didn’t study water.)
    • Protein is needed to build and grow the body.
    • Carbohydrates are our main source of energy.
    • Fat provides energy. You need some fat in your diet, but too much can cause you to gain weight.
    • Vitamins help your body use the carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.
    • Minerals help the body’s processes, help muscles and nerves to work, and help your body use vitamins.

E-Mail Connie Ordway !

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