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Fun Food Activities with ChooseMyPlate

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Food focused activities are a great way to spend time with your kids in the kitchen. These tasty snacks or mini-meals can either be made at home or in after school cooking programs. Use this time not only to do fun food activities with your kids or students, but to get them interested in cooking and teach a lesson on good nutrition. Have kids guess which food group each of the ingredients fits into using ChooseMyPlate and why that group is important.

{ https://www.choosemyplate.gov/MyPlate}

The MyPlate Food Groups:

Grains: A great source of energy to fuel sports, swimming, or playing outside with friends. Whole grains contain fiber which helps keep your heart healthy and digestion moving along. Examples of whole grains include brown rice, whole wheat bread, wheat pasta and ancient grains like quinoa, farro, or buckwheat.

Protein: The building blocks for bones and muscles. Protein helps keep your muscles strong and healthy to play sports and be active. Protein can come from animals and plants. Examples include beans, (like these pinto bean burgers), chicken, turkey, fish, beef, soy like tofu, and nuts.

Fruits: This colorful family has many essential vitamins and minerals that help keep you from getting sick, keep your heart healthy, heal cuts and wounds, and keep teeth strong and cavity-free. Some favorite fruits are mango, apple, peach, berries, pear, banana, kiwi, and watermelon.

Vegetables: They are filled with vitamins, minerals, and fiber to keep your body full after you eat and help make it easier for you to go to the bathroom. Vegetables also keep your eyes and skin healthy and protect you from getting sick. Examples include broccoli, carrots, green beans, tomatoes, peppers, kale, and eggplant.

Dairy: MOOve over juice! Dairy contains calcium used for building strong bones and teeth. The dairy family includes yogurt, cheese, and milk.

For more information about MyPlate and the food groups, please visit https://www.choosemyplate.gov/MyPlate. Get the kiddos and try these simple recipes to help teach them about each food group!

Fill up with Fru-shi

 

Food groups: the fruit group, grain group, and dairy group.

Fru-shi is a tasty and fun way to enjoy a cool fruit-filled summer snack. Kids can mix and match flavors and fruits to their liking. Out of fresh fruit and don’t feel like running to the market? No problem! Fru-shi can be made with frozen or dried fruit as well.

What You Need:

  • 1 large whole wheat or whole grain tortilla
  • 2 tablespoons 2% or low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2-3 strawberries, sliced
  • 1 fresh peach or nectarine, chopped
  • 1 kiwi sliced thinly
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon (optional)

Directions:

  1. First, lay the tortilla flat on a plate or clean countertop.
  2. Combine the cream cheese and Greek yogurt with a spoon until smooth. Add the cinnamon to the cream cheese/yogurt mixture (if using).
  3. Spread the cream cheese/yogurt mixture across the tortilla with a spoon.
  4. Layer the fruit across the tortilla.
  5. Roll tortilla long ways and slice into “sushi” roll pieces.

Fruit & Veggie Butterfly

Food groups: fruit group, vegetable group, grain group, and dairy group.

Making a fruit and veggie butterfly is the perfect way to teach your pre-schooler or elementary-aged child about the food groups. Add hummus or bean dip for protein to complete a balanced MyPlate. Food art is a great way to make fruit and veggies FUN and yummy!

What You Need:

  • Thin pretzel sticks to make the antennas
  • 1 long carrot stick for the body of the butterfly
  • Thinly sliced apple for the butterfly wings
  • 1 tablespoon of low-fat Greek yogurt mixed with 1 teaspoon cream cheese to attach the parts
  • Raisins for the butterfly wing spots

Directions:

  1. First, arrange all the ingredients on a plate.
  2. Lay out the carrot stick in the middle of another plate.
  3. Spread out the sliced apples on either side of the carrot stick for the wings.
  4. Place a small dollop of the Greek yogurt/cream cheese mixture on the top of the carrot stick and attach two pretzel sticks for antennae. Add raisins for eyes.
  5. If desired, use the Greek yogurt/cream cheese mixture to attach more raisins to the apples to make spots on the butterfly’s wings.

Sweet Potato Nachos

Food Groups: the vegetable group, the dairy group, and the protein group.

The food groups here can be tricky! Beans as a topping can count as protein if your family eats more plant based foods. If you eat more meat, they can count as a vegetable. The avocado, which has lots of healthy fats but the benefits of green foods, also counts as a vegetable.

Who doesn’t love nachos! They’re colorful, savory and so tasty. Making nachos with sweet potatoes as the “chip,” is a fun way to introduce your kids to this nutrient dense vegetable. Pair their favorite toppings with a new topping to increase taste acceptability. For example, if they love avocado and cheese, but haven’t tried bell peppers, include one new ingredient with two favorites. These are a great Meatless Monday meal, just add vegan cheese.

What you need:

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds sweet potato
  • 2 teaspoons of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • ½ teaspoon of pepper
  • salt to taste right before serving

Optional Toppings:

  • Cheese
  • Chopped bell pepper
  • Hot peppers (remove seeds), some kids like them!
  • Chives
  • Chopped avocado sprinkled with lime juice
  • Salsa
  • Fresh tomatoes
  • Beans

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Wash and scrub sweet potatoes. Get kids involved by letting them pick out their own fruit and veggie scrub brush at the store.
  3. Thinly slice sweet potatoes and place in a bowl.
  4. Coat sweet potatoes with olive oil by lightly tossing them in a bowl with a spoon until evenly coated.
  5. Sprinkle in herbs and spices and toss again.
  6. Place on coated baking sheet greased with 1 teaspoon of olive oil, or use a silicone mat.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes, flipping half way through. Keep oven on.
  8. Prepare toppings while potatoes bake.
  9. Put select toppings on and place back in the oven for 3 minutes until cheese melts.
  10. Add chopped avocado, eat and enjoy.

Looking for more fun and easy ways to get kids in the kitchen? Join us on SuperKids Nutrition Instagram.



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