How Old Do Kids Have To Be For 2 Milk This Kid Nutrition Activity Includes a Food Group Relay Race

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This Kid Nutrition Activity Includes a Food Group Relay Race

This kids nutrition activity combines learning about nutrition and physical fitness. Children who are well-nourished and physically fit learn more at school. Using the five food groups, kids learn how much of each food group they need each day, how to recognize which foods belong in each group, and plan a sample meal plan.

With the technological age of computers, video games and television, there is concern that children are not getting enough physical fitness in their time. Encourage children to participate in physical games, sports, dance and exercise for at least one hour each day.

First, go through the five food groups with the children. Discuss their favorite food and what food group it belongs to. For example, if a child’s favorite food is pizza, ask them what food group pizza belongs to. The five food groups and portions for children ages 2-11 are:

  • Milk: 2-3 cups
  • Fruit: 1-2 cups
  • Vegetables: 1-2 ½ cups
  • Beans: 3-6 oz
  • Meat and beans: 2-5 ½ ounces

The portion size varies according to the age of the child. One slice of bread is one serving. Three ounces of meat is about the size of a “deck of cards”.

Next, have them plan a sample menu for one meal. Younger children can cut out pictures from a magazine and glue into sections on a paper plate. Older children can write a sample menu on paper. For example, have children plan a nutritious lunch to take to school.

Finally, play a relay game with the food. Make five labels, each labeled with a food group in capital letters. Stick on a few pictures of food from each group. Using a 3″ x 5″ index card, place one food item on one card. Create lots of cards. For younger children, stick a picture of food on each card.

To play the game, divide the children into teams (we recommend no more than four teams). You need five volunteers to hold the food group signs. Have them stand a good distance away from the teams, facing the teams and holding the markers. Place a basket or bucket at their feet. Another volunteer will have a bag of food (cards) and the first child in line will draw a meal card.

When you say “go” or blow the whistle, the first child from each team runs to the correct food group, points to the tag holder to verify they are correct, and places their food card in the basket. They will run back to their team and go to the end of the line. The next player in line draws a card and continues the relay. Everyone is a winner in this relay game!

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