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Five Food Groups (3-5)

9 minutes
Primary subjects: 
3, 4, 5
Average: 0 (0 votes)

This lesson includes a discussion of the five food groups and a list of healthy foods from each group. At the end of this lesson, students should be able to identify a balanced diet and why a balanced diet is important. Lastly, they will discuss why good foods are beneficial and why bad foods should be limited.

Key objectives for students
Expose students to the five food groups
Identify the five food groups
List healthy foods in each food group
Discuss why it is important to eat a balanced diet
Discuss foods that should be limited in our diets
Secondary subjects
Agriculture Science, Art, Health and Nutrition
Healthy choices regarding food, Five food groups, Nutritional benefits of healthy food
Communication skills
Curiosity, Optimism
Real-World Application
Background information for teachers

The majority of 9-Minute Nutrition Ninja lessons include taste tests of the day’s lesson. We have provided an allergy form. Please provide this allergy form to all students approximately one week before the tasting activities to allow ample time for parents/guardians to read, sign, and return to the classroom.

In Advance

One week

Please provide a printed copy of the allergy form to all students approximately one week before the tasting activities to allow ample time for parents/guardians to read, sign, and return to the classroom. Check your school policies to understand how to handle food allergies and modify the tasting activities for students with food sensitivities.

Materials needed
Time Exercise Description
9 minutes Discussion
  • Hello Friends!
  • I am a Nutrition Ninja, and I am going to teach you about foods from the five food groups so that you can become Nutrition Ninjas, too!
  • To help in your Nutrition Ninja training, my friend Ninja Nick (show ninja mouse image) will remind you about the important vitamins and minerals that you learn about during each lesson in handouts that you can take home with you. Ninja Nick is a barnyard mouse who lives on a farm and loves to eat foods that make him strong and healthy.
  • What are your favorite foods that keep you strong and healthy?
  • Today we are going to talk about the five food groups.
  • Who knows one of the five food groups? What are the others?
  • That’s right, there is the fruit group, vegetable group, protein group, dairy group, and grains group.
  • Why do you think it’s important to eat foods from the different food groups?
  • Foods in these groups contain many vitamins and nutrients that our bodies need to stay healthy and strong, just like Ninja Nick.
  • Eating a balanced diet, or some foods from each food group, helps make sure that our bodies get all the nutrients we need.
  • What foods do you think are healthy? What makes a person healthy?
  • People need to eat healthy foods and stay active to be healthy.
  • What are some foods that you think are unhealthy?
  • That’s right. Chips, candy, and soda are high in salt and sugar.
  • These foods should be limited in your diet.
  • Has anyone ever heard of eating a food rainbow? Can anyone guess what that means?
  • Eating a food rainbow means that we should eat fruits and vegetables of all different colors.
  • This is because different fruits and vegetables have different vitamins and nutrients that our bodies need.
  • Let’s play a quick game to name fruits and vegetables for each color of the rainbow!
  • The colors of the rainbow are: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple.
  • Who can think of a fruit or vegetable that is red? Orange? Yellow? Green? Blue? Purple?
  • Look at your plate at lunch or at dinner to see how many colors of the rainbow you are eating!
  • During our training sessions, we will learn about healthy foods from each of the five food groups, and get to sample some of these foods too!
  • I also have something for you to take home with you today (pass out Five Food Groups Handout).
Assessment Opportunities

At the end of this session, each student should be able to answer at least three questions correctly. Questions can be as simple as “What is eating a food rainbow?”, “Name a fruit or vegetable for each color of the rainbow”, and “Why is it important to eat a balanced diet?”

Standards assessment

Grades 3-5 Health and PE state-by-state standards_Five Food Groups

Grades 3-5 Science state-by-state standards_Five Food Groups

Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

Science Grade 4
TITLE 4-LS1. From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes
Students who demonstrate understanding can: Use a model to describe that animals’ receive different types of information through their senses, process the information in their brain, and respond to the information in different ways.

Community connections

Students can discuss with family members what they learned about the five food groups today and show the Five Food Groups Handout. Encourage students to share with their family members a new fact they learned, such as “what is eating a food rainbow”, and report back if their families knew this fact or if their dinner had any colors (or food groups) represented on their plate.