We took a loooong winter break from "homing school," as the child thing calls it, to celebrate Christmas, New Year's, and then Daddy's mid-tour leave, but we are back in the saddle now. What Your Preschooler Needs to Know has a science section on staying healthy, and since healthy eating does not come naturally in our house (I know someone who would consume marshmallows for 3 meals a day if she could), we expanded that to include the food pyramid.
Here's how we went about studying the food pyramid, if you're interested:
I printed off this food pyramid, and we colored each section a different color as we talked about the different food groups and identified the pictures in each group. Then I cut out the pyramid, glued it to a piece of construction paper, and I asked the child thing to tell me the names of each group as I labeled them.
The next day, we drew a bigger version of the pyramid on a poster board, and again, I had her tell me the names of the food groups to write on the poster. Then we sorted her toy food set into the groups and placed them in the proper section on our poster. She did a great job with the sorting, and after that, we played restaurant. I was the customer, and she was the waitress. Instead of ordering a specific food, I'd just say I wanted something from the vegetable group, for example.
Normally, we don't include snack time into our homeschool, but when you're learning about food, you gotta eat! So, we gathered ingredients from each food group.
Bread/Starch: crackers or mini rice cakes
Vegetables: cucumber slices, shredded carrots
Fruit: raisins, berries
Dairy: cream cheese
Protein: peanut butter
Using the cucumbers or crackers for a base, the peanut butter or cream cheese for spreading and the rest for toppings, we assembled the ingredients into a variety of snacks, counting how many of the food groups we could include in one snack.
I also asked the child thing to help me plan and prepare a meal, keeping the food pyramid in mind. One guess what she picked for the starch.
It's important to teach kids about healthful eating, and it's never too early to start good habits, but here's a word of warning: if you choose to teach your child about eating a healthy, balanced diet by consulting the food pyramid, every meal you serve them from then on will be under scrutiny.
Oh, and she picked macaroni and cheese.