In our Science curriculum we began studying nutrition so I started on my journey to find out how to emphasize nutrition in a hands on and interactive way. The Food Guide Pyramid popped into my head. Of course in searching I came across the new and supposedly improved Food Guide Pyramids. Personally I do not like them. For one, that is not how you make a pyramid! Pyramids are made with blocks built one upon the other. The Egyptians did not make a pyramid with color coded lines. To me all they did was keep the shape and threw out the visual aspect of the teaching. Since my daughter is a very visual learner I started looking for the old Food Guide Pyramid and that is what we used. Now she can not only see the foods directly on the pyramid, she can more readily see the size of each section since that corresponds to how many servings of those foods you should have. This has really been a lot of fun since we have already been exploring our senses through food. This has allowed us to take that activity to another level by really examine the nutritious aspects of the food we are working with. So here is how we began.
First I found a song and video at the Food Guide Pyramid Games website. This actually uses the old pyramid style that I was looking for so I was really excited. Even more important than that, my daughter absolutely loves it! Believe me, we listen to this song over and over and over again! That is OK though, because she has really grasped the whole concept thanks in part to this song. Click on the screen-shot to watch the video and hear this catchy tune. (OK, the kids will think its catchy but after about 50 or more plays adults will start to find it annoying!)
Now, after she grasped the concept with the song we started taking magazines and cutting out pictures of various foods and then we made our own Food Guide Pyramid on poster board. Gess then had to figure out where to glue all the food on the pyramid. She picked it up really fast! After we were done she found it fun to lay it on the floor, play the video above and dance around it while she sang the song. I finally put it on the wall to keep it from getting messed up. Still, she will play the video and run over to it on the wall pointing to all the corresponding sections as she sings. I didn't think she would have this much fun with it once we were done! Here she is next to her Food Guide Pyramid.
We also have drawn a smaller food guide pyramid with no food on it. Just something simple.
We have used this at lunch time and had her place each item she had with her lunch on the corresponding blocks of the pyramid. We also have done this with her play food. Here she is having found some food for every section.
We have also made some food guide muffin tins making sure all food groups were properly represented in them. With six tins and six categories that was easy enough. I have also found Gess in the kitchen getting out all sorts of food just playing around with it herself and she loves telling you what category all her food goes in now. More importantly she is now eating all of her dinner because she wants to grow up big and strong. That of course is the point of getting our hands on nutrition, to teach her not just what category it all goes in, but to make healthy choices. This has helped her want to do just that. So "come to the food guide pryamid....come on lets go!"