Healthy Eating

Children will create a collage of healthy foods.


Lesson Objective

Children will understand the importance of healthy food in keeping their bodies healthy.


What You'll Need

  • Cut out pictures of healthy food choices from old magazines and grocery store advertisements
  • 12” white paper plates – 1 per child
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Crayons

What To Do

  1. Using the cut out foods, begin a discussion with the children about the role food plays in keeping their bodies healthy (see Did You Know?).
  2. Tell the children they will be using pictures of foods to make a collage of their favorite healthy foods.
  3. Distribute paper plates, glue, scissors, and crayons.
  4. Place the cut out pictures on the tables for the children to look through and find which foods they like to eat, then glue them on their paper plate.
  5. If children cannot find a picture of their favorite food, invite them to draw it on their plate.
  6. Have each child present their plates to the class.

Guiding Student Inquiry

  • Why do you think it is important to eat healthy foods?
  • Can you give me an example of a healthy food?
  • Tell me a food that is not healthy.
  • Look at the collage and tell me about the healthy food on it; how about the food that isn’t as healthy?

Explore, Extend & Integrate

  • Include a variety of healthy choices during snack time and allow children to choose the ones they like to eat.
  • Make extra pictures of foods, paper plates, and glue available at the art center.
  • With the children, make posters of the food groups using pictures from magazines or grocery store advertisements.
  • Keep an assortment of plastic fruits and vegetables, meats, grains, and milk products available for dramatic play.

Check for Children’s Understanding

  • Could each child create a plate of healthy foods?
  • Could children explain the importance of eating healthy foods?
  • Could children explain what they put on their plates?


Did You Know?

During their first years of life, children grow rapidly and steadily. Food and physical activity help children grow with strong bones and more muscle. The body uses energy during rest and during movement. Energy comes from the food we eat. Some foods provide many nutrients and energy, while other foods have fewer nutrients. Fruits, vegetables, grains, meats, and dairy products provide many important nutrients for growth and energy.

Food can be divided into five groups. People need food from each group to stay healthy. Protein foods such as meats, nuts, seeds, and beans and legumes are important for a healthy diet. Grains supply energy for our bodies; we need energy to move and think. Vegetables have lots of fiber and vitamins, which help keep our eyes and bodies healthy. Fruits have lots of vitamin C, which is important for keeping our skin and hair strong. Dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yogurt help our bodies store energy and keep our bones and teeth strong. Other foods like sweets have oils, fats, and sugar and should be eaten only as a special treat. Butter, oils, and salad dressings are foods that we only need a little bit of, so we need to be careful not to eat too much of them.

Vocabulary: Child-Friendly Definitions

  • food — anything that living creatures eat.
  • healthy — being free from sickness.
  • body — the physical parts that make up a person or animal.
  • collage — a type of art in which different kinds of materials are pasted onto a surface to make a picture.
  • grow — to become larger; grow up.
  • energy — the ability to have power to do work.

Lesson Tips

Visit the USDA “Choose My Plate” website or another similar website for additional information on healthy eating habits and recommendations for preschool children.


  • Good Enough to Eat: A Kid’s Guide to Food and Nutrition by Lizzy Rockwell
  • Showdown at the Food Pyramid by Rex Barron
  • How Do Dinosaurs Eat Their Food? by Jane Yolan
  • Oh the Things You Can Do That Are Good for You by Tish Rabe

Home School Resources

Home educators: use these printable lesson PDFs to teach this lesson to your home schoolers. They're available in English and Spanish.

While we believe that the books and resources recommended may be of value to you, keep in mind that these are suggestions only and you must do your own due diligence to determine whether the materials are appropriate and suitable for your use. PNC has no sponsorship or endorsement agreement with the authors or publishers of the materials listed.

Content Provided By

Common Core State Standards Initiative – These lessons are aligned with the Common Core State Standards ("CCSS"). The CCSS provide a consistent, clear understanding of the concepts and skills children are expected to learn and guide teachers to provide their students with opportunities to gain these important skills and foundational knowledge [1]. Visit the CCSS