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Food & Nutrition Activities
There are 4 black & white printables / coloring pages available for this theme.
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1. Bowl of Cereal
2. Container of Milk
3. Cracked Egg
4. Apple with a worm

Pretzel Letters Recipe
1 tsp. salt (optional)
1½ cups warm water
4 cups flour
1 envelope yeast
1 egg (beaten)

1.  Mix all above ingredients together EXCEPT the beaten egg.
2.  Shape the dough into the letters of the alphabet.
3.  Brush the dough letters with the beaten egg and (optional) lightly sprinkle with
4.  Bake in the oven at 425°  for about 12 minutes.
5.  Allow Letter Pretzels to cool before eating.  Enjoy!

Make Your Own Healthy Orange Juice
Donna M. teaches about nutrition with this activity that even 2 year old youngsters can successfully complete.

Materials: Oranges cut in quarters, plastic zip-lock baggies and straws.

Description: Give each child a quarter piece of an orange.  Have the child place their orange into the baggie, zip lock and squeeze.  Add straw and enjoy.

Comments: The children enjoy making this and there is no mess!

Cooking: Frosted Leaf Cookies 
Take advantage of this cooking experience by Robyn during the Fall season
or change the colors of the food coloring and adapt this activity for other seasons.

 1 Tube Refrigerator sugar cookie dough
 Leaf shaped cookie cutters
 Red, yellow and orange food coloring
 One tub of white ready made frosting
Roll out sugar cookie dough onto floured surface. Cut out leaf shapes with cookie cutters. Bake as directed on tube. Cool on wire racks. Divide frosting into three small bowls. Add food coloring and let the children frost thecookies in fall colored frostings.

Cooking: Yummy Red Applesauce
Try cooking applesauce and help young children with problem solving and observation, just as Sharon T. does.

Materials: Apples, cooking pot, heat source, peeler and corer, sugar, and red hots candy.

Description: We make homemade applesauce, by peeling, chopping, and cooking apples until the are soft. We talk about the texture of the apple before it is cooked and the after it is cooked. While the applesauce is still warm we add sugar. We then dish out individual portions and give each child a handful of red hot candy. They stir in the red hots and watch the applesauce turn red. It also adds the cinnamon flavor.

Comments: The children love participating in the process of making the applesauce and to them it is magic when the sauce turns red.

Cooking: Apples, Apples, Apples!
Preschool and kindergarten children learn how to use apples to make many delicious things to eat during these cooking activities by Wendy H.

Apples, pancake mix, syrup.
Apples, water, cinnamon, sugar.
Apples and bread mix.  Recipe in activity plan. Plastic cutlery.

Description: The first week on apples we make apple pancakes on Friday. (I usually do most of my baking on Friday's.) After learning about apples we use them to bake or cook.  We first wash our hands and then meet at one large table. 
We make a batch of pancake mix together.  I usually divide the 
measurements so more children can help put in the ingredients.  For example: 1 cup we would use (4) 1/4 cups.  I use reduced fat bisquick because it is quick and easy and makes delicious pancakes.  After mixing, the children are given pre-cut and pre skinned apples and plastic knives. I ask them to wait till everyone has some apples in front of them.  Then I show them how to hold the apple down on the table and cut it into little pieces.  As they do it they make a pile.  Then when they are done they raise their hand and tell us that they are ready to add their apples to our apple pancake mix.

Once everyone is done we mix them in and have an adult make some apple pancakes for us.  I bring my electric frying pan to make the pancakes, so the kids can watch them being made.  Syrup is in small pitchers if they want to put some on.  We use plastic knives and forks to eat them.  MMMMM Good!

Applesauce Recipe
The second week of apples we make applesauce on Friday.  I send an apple note home on Monday asking the children to bring in two apples on Friday to make applesauce.  Before using them we count how many red, green, and yellow.  You can make a graph if you have time.  This year we did apple sampling on applesauce day. Then we graphed everyone's favorite: red, green, or yellow.  We then wash up and wash the apples.

Using an apple corer/peeler we get the apples ready to cut up.  Then each child gets 2 apples to cut up with their plastic knife.  When they have finished cutting both apples they raise their hand to put the apples in the pot.  When everyone is done we add about 1/2 cup of water.  If you do not have access to a stove, crock pots work great.  It takes about 30 minutes to bake down the apples on med-med / high heat.  Stir often so they don't stick to the bottom.  When the applesauce is done cooking we let the children add cinnamon and sugar in their own bowl if they want to.  Then we enjoy.

Apple Bread Recipe
The third week of apples we make apple bread.  After washing our hands we join at the large table to make our bread.  The recipe I use is easy and tasty.  Here it is.

Pampered Chef recipe called: Nancy's Apple Bread
 Bread Batter
 1 cup butter or margarine, softened
 1 cup sugar
 1 tsp. baking soda
 1 TBLS lemon juice
 2 eggs 
 2 tsps. vanilla
 2 cups flour
 1/4 tsp. salt
 2 medium apples
Cream butter and sugar together.  I just use a good sturdy wooden spoon.  Dissolve baking soda in lemon juice. (Show the kids what happens, use a soup bowl because it will fizzle all over.) Combine baking soda mixture, eggs and vanilla with the butter mix. Stir well.  Add flour and salt.  Mix.  Have the children help cut up the apples that are pre-cut and pre skinned.  Gently fold in the apples.
 Crumb Mixture Recipe
 1 tsp. cinnamon
 2 TBLS sugar
 2 TBLS flour
 2 TBLS cold butter or margarine
Mix first 3 ingredients.  Cut in small pieces of butter/margarine.  Makes a coarse mixture. Pour 1/2 the batter into a greased bread pan.  Sprinkle half the crumb mix onto the batter.  Then pour the remaining batter into the pan.  Top with the remaining crumb mixture.  Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes at 350 degrees.  Cool 
before trying it.  MMMMMM GOOD!
Then I send the recipes home if they want to make them with their families.

Comments: We love cooking or baking at least once a week.  This is a good way to introduce young children to cooking and baking.

Take a peek at the Apple Theme!

Christmas Treat  Sensorimotor: Christmas Tree Treats
Pre-k and kindergarten children can be creative with food (which is always a hit) while exercising their small motor skills and enjoying this winter christmas activity from Kerri C.

Materials: Cone shaped ice cream cones (usually sugar cones are the right shape), green food coloring, ready made white cake frosting, mini chocolate chips, mini m&ms, sprinkles, and small paper plates.

Description: Prep work: Write child's name on each paper plate. It will be more difficult to do this after the treat has been made. Add green food coloring to the white frosting a little at a time, depending on how green you want your tree treats to be. 

Ask the children to spread the frosting all over their cone, and then have them set it upside down on their paper plate. Now they can stick any of the remaining decorations (chips, m&ms, sprinkles, etc.) onto the frosting to make it look like a decorated christmas tree. The frosting will harden after a few minutes, making it easier to eat (if their treat makes it this far :) ).

Comments: This activity can get messy, so you may want to use smocks. This is a great sensorimotor activity and the best learning can be messy sometimes. I do think that all the ingredients used would wash out pretty easily.

There are lots of activities about Christmas.

Art & Craft: "Pizza"
Youngsters don't have to cook to create these Pizzas by Bevelene W.

Materials: Round brown construction paper, smaller round red construction paper, yellow construction paper, small black round stickers and small round red stickers.

Description: The children will take the brown construction paper and put it under the red construction paper.  This is the crust and sauce.  Tear pieces of the yellow construction paper for cheese.  If the children like pepperoni, take the red stickers and place them on and if they like olives place the black stickers on also.  Now you have a creation almost good enough to eat!

Food Group Sorter
Sylvia V. teaches about healthy food groups with this preschool activity.

Materials: Board or poster board with 6 pockets labeled meat, fruit, vegetable, fat, milk, bread.  Pictures of food from each food group, laminated to last. 

Description: Children sort pictures into correct pocket.

Teacher Made: "Food Pyramid"
The children will be able to discover how many of each food he or she needs each day with this teacher made pyramid by Cindy.

Materials: A triangle shape felt piece. In advance, I made mine with four different colors, sewed them together and backed it with a piece of tapestry for sturdiness. Find enough food pictures to fill the pyramid. The more the merrier. Felt for the back of pictures and contact paper for the front of pictures. Scissors. Glue to glue felt to backs of food pictures. Cut the pictures to be small enough to fit the pyramid.

Description: Introduce the pyramid at group time and explain about the amounts of each food that is needed each day. Make the activity available for exploration during the week.

fall art and craftArt Activity:  Foods We Eat
During  this preschool education activity children will use eye-hand coordination and classification skills while creating a collage of healthy breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack foods.

You will need:
Magazines with pictures of healthy foods, paper plates, glue, scissors.

Begin by talking with youngsters about the different foods they eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.  Talk about the healthy foods they eat and how those foods help them grow and stay well.  Next, provide magazines and ask children to find and cut out pictures of food.  Encourage youngsters to look for healthy foods from the basic food groups.

Preschool children together with teachers sort the pictures into meal groups (breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack).  Then have youngsters work cooperatively in groups of 2 and glue each meal on a paper plate.  Display the resulting meals in the kitchen/housekeeping area of the classroom.

Extension: Food Group Collage
Enhance your nutrition curriculum by proceeding the same as for 'Foods We Eat', but substitute the 4 basic food groups instead of the 4 meals (breakfast, etc.)

Cool Cooking:  Yummy Shapes
Reinforce the square and circle shapes with this snack by Annette H.

Materials: One saltine cracker, peanut butter and one large marshmallow for each child and a plastic knife or spoon to spread the peanut butter.

Description: After I have introduced the square and circle I end the study with a yummy shape snack.  Each child is given a saltine cracker, the square. They are given a spreader - plastic knife, spoon or wooden stick and they spread the peanut butter on this.
A large marshmallow, the circle, is placed on top of this. These may be heated in a toaster oven or eaten as is.  The children love these and I do too!

Don't forget to look at the entire theme about Shapes.

Cooking and Literacy: "Pippi's Birthday Cones"
Pippi Longstocking
Combine cooking with literacy during this early childhood lesson plan by Kim D.

Materials: Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren
1 box yellow cake mix
12 flat bottom ice cream cones
1 cup creamy frosting
Candy or chocolate pieces (optional)

Description: Nine year old Pippi lives in a world of her own, a child's world of the imagination.  In Pippi's world anything is possible.  In this story, Pippi takes over the circus act from the ringmaster, out wits robbers, saves some children from a burning house, and celebrates her birthday in a way only Pippi could.
Celebrate with Pippi by making these birthday cupcakes.  Don't forget to bring a gift that Pippi would enjoy.

 Pippi's Birthday Cones
 1.  Prepare the cake batter as directed on the box.
 2.  Fill each cone 1 inch from the top with batter.
 3.  Place the ice cream cones in a muffin tin.
 4.  Bake them at 350 for 30 minutes.
 5.  Allow the cakes to cool before frosting them.  Sprinkle candy or chocolate pieces on top.

Comments: You can also fill your muffin tin 2/3 full and put the ice cream cone down on top and the cake will bake up into the cone.

Extended Activities:
1.  Pippi played a game called the Thing Finder, find discarded items and invent another use for them.
2.  Pippi loved to go on picnics. Plan a picnic and pack a Pippi basket full of surprises.
3.  Create your own orchestra using student made instruments.
4.  Write a sequel to the story.  Invite Pippi to go somewhere special with you. Remember, something absurd is sure to happen with Pippi around.

Literacy Activity: Cooking Muffins
During this preschool and kindergarten plan Karen A. uses cooking to enhance literacy.

Boxed muffin mix, Book "If You Give A Moose A Muffin", large cut out paper muffins, dot paints.

Description:Teachers first read the book, "If You Give A Moose A Muffin".After reading, ask children their favorite flavors of muffins, and chart them. 

Next, cook muffins, allowing children to mix ingredients, divide batter and provide filling: jelly, raisins, cut up apples, etc.  Each child makes and eats his or her own.

At art provide dot paints and other media for children to decorate favorite muffin cut out.

Art & Craft: "Grocery Shopping"
Before this art activity by Joy H. take preschool and kindergarten on a field trip to your local grocery store.

Materials: Brown grocery bags in various sizes, we used small old magazines, scissors and glue.

Description: The objective is to get the children to recognized the different items you can buy at a grocery store. Children need to know that there are some things that can't be brought at the grocery store. Have children look in the magazines for things that you can buy at the grocery store and cut them out. You may have to help with the cutting. Once they have found the pictures, have them paste the pictures on the bag. I hang the bags up in the classroom with the heading "I Went Grocery Shopping, Look At All My Treats."

Shopping List Game
Preschool children match objects during this activity by Joanne.

Materials: Cards with pictures of groceries commonly found, i.e., apple, bread etc.  Lists of the cards divided up with eight items on each.

Description: Give each child a list with 8 items on it.  Shuffle the pre made cards and allow each child to take a turn.  If the item matches the one on their list let them keep it for their trolley (shopping cart). Otherwise show it to the others and see if they can match it. During the game discuss the colors and types of food they have.

Cool Cooking: "Decorate Your Own Cupcake"
Preschool and kindergarten children listen to and answer questions about a story then use fine motor skills to decorate a cupcake during this cool cooking activity by Shari. 

Materials: Book Curious George Bakes a Cake 
Plain cupcakes
Mini m&m's
Plastic knives
Small paper plates

Description: At circle time, read the story, Curious George Bakes a Cake. Ask questions relating to the story afterwards.  Give each child a plate with a spoonful of icing, a small handful of mini m&m's, a small pinch of sprinkles and a plain cupcakes.  Have each child wash his or her hands.  Tell the children they can decorate & eat their own cupcake.  If you have time, you could have the children help you make the cupcake batter the day before.

snack time song Transition Snack Song
Get children seated and ready for snack, so all children start together with this song by Susan C.

Description: As our children come to the snack table we sing this song  sung to the tune of  If You're Happy and You Know It

   Put your hands in the air, in the air
   Put your hands in the air, in the air
   *Put your hands in the air once you're sitting in a chair
   Put your hands in the air, in the air
   (Repeat tune from *)
   Put your hands in the air,
   But we don't want to leave them there - soooo
   (Start tune from top)
   Put your hands in your lap, in your lap
   Put your hands in your lap, in your lap
   Put your hands in your lap,
   And we'll get ready for our snack.
   Put your hands in your lap, in your lap.
Take a look at Transition Time Activities or for more transition rhymes, songs and poems go to Transition Time Nursery Rhymes.

Cooking & Game: "Find The Gingerbread Man"
Teachers can use this cooking experience by Molly to help preschool children get to know their school.

Materials: Gingerbread cookie mix, bear cookie cutters and brown construction paper.

Description: This is a two day activity.  On the first day, make gingerbread cookies with the kids, letting them each cut out a cookie and decorate it with red hots for eyes, buttons, etc.  Tell the kids that they have to bake so we will have to wait until the next day.  Read the Gingerbread Man story.

The next day, go to the kitchen where you will find that the pan is empty. Ahead of time, cut out gingerbread men out of construction paper and place the clues at different locations around school.  When you find the pan empty, begin your search following from clue to clue.  At the end, it should take you back to your cookies.  Then eat and enjoy.  An extra added fun is to place flour prints on the floor.  As you go on your journey, you can follow them.

Take a look at the Gingerbread Man Theme!

Cooking and Literacy: "Corn Bread and Butter"
Little House on the Prairie
Kim D. shares this literacy and cooking lesson for kindergarten and older children.

 Materials: Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
 1 egg
 1 cup milk
 2 tbl honey or maple syrup
 2/3 cup corn meal
 3/4 cup flour
 1 tbl baking powder
 1 tsp. salt
 3 tabl melted butter
 1/2 pint heavy cream
 yellow food coloring (optional)

Description: Laura and her family are pioneers who leave civilization behind to build a little house on the prairie.  Despite harsh weather, wild animals, and the ever present threat of Indians, Laura's life is a happy one.  After all, there is always Pa's fiddle, Ma's tenderness, and good times with friends. Corn was a staple of the pioneers' diet.  Here is a traditional recipe for corn bread and butter.

Corn Bread and Butter
1.  Beat the egg until it is light and frothy.  Add milk, honey, corn meal, flour, and baking powder.
2.  Grease the baking pan with melted butter.  Pour the mixture into the pan and bake for 20 minutes at 425.
3.  While the corn bread is baking, beat the cream until it stiffens into butter.
4.  For extra taste, add a pinch of salt and yellow food coloring.
5.  Serve the corn bread with butter.

Cooking: Nutrition
Margaret T. uses this preschool cooking activity to help children learn about nutritious foods and about safety in the kitchen.

Materials: A large pot or crock pot. Children to bring in their favorite vegetable. Teacher brings in cans of broth.

Description: Have children wash their hands.  Then have each child put into the pot or crock pot, their vegetable.  If they bring in a can, help them open it.  If they brought in potatoes or carrots (help) let them peel them. Get other children to help with peeling.  Cook until all vegetables are done and serve.

Comments: I have done this with 2's

Fine Motor Skills: "Gathering Eggs"
Young preschool children use fine motor skills during this activity byCarolyn D. They gather "eggs" with tongs and place them in an egg holder.

Materials: Tongs, plastic golf balls (these are the eggs), empty egg cartons.

Description: Put the golf ball (eggs) in a bucket. Have the kids retrieve them with the tongs and put them in each slot in the egg carton. Great for fine motor skills as well as coordination.

Comments: The kids love to use the tongs!

idea for shapesTriangle Idea
Teach shape recognition during mealtimes with this edible idea by Janice.

We usually have buttered bread at lunch with our preschool children. I cut the bread in triangle shapes and rectangle shapes and offer the children the choice of what shape they want for lunch, triangle or rectangle. I sometimes even cut circle shapes with a glass when the crust is hard or we are doing shapes. 

This is easy and doing it every day the kids absorb the concept like a sponge. They don't have to know it because the shape is already there and you can ask how many sides does a triangle have? Or a rectangle have?  It's easy and fun and doesn't cost any thing extra when you are serving lunch anyway.

Don't forget to take a peek at the Shape Activity Theme

Art & Craft:  "Lunch Boxes"
Carol L. talks about nutritious foods we like to eat for lunch during this art activity.

Materials: Construction paper lunch box shapes.  Cut flap in top one so you can open the lunch box and see inside. Cut-out food pictures.

Description: Children glue in favorite foods on bottom part of the lunch box, then glue top on. Now, the teacher labels the lunch box with child's name, and takes dictation about the child's favorite foods.

Literacy: "Lunch Box"
Preschool children use letter and color recognition with this lunch box by Laura.

Materials: Construction paper cut into the shape of a lunch box, letters for each letter of each child's name cut from construction paper, glue, crayons and other decorative material (glitter, stickers, felt pieces etc.).

Description: Children create their own designer lunch boxes using letters from their names and gluing decorative materials. Children can draw designs with the crayons.

Comments: The two year olds and three year olds were very curious about what each letter was and by recognizing just one or two letters in their names they knew which one was theirs on the wall.

cook book ideaRecipe Books
Donna C. shares her idea for individual children's cook books. 

Materials: Age appropriate recipes, ingredients from recipes and a tablecloth.

Description: First take a tablecloth and cut it into 5X7 inch rectangles.  Put two pieces together to form a book and bind it so pages can be added to the middle. On the front, title each cookbook with each of your children's names. Ex. Donna's Cookbook. Then incorporate a cooking activity into your lesson planning.  Run off a copy of each recipe for the children to take home and put into their permanent cookbook and to share with their parents.

Comments: I add a cooking activity every other week. The children have so much fun and it makes them feel special to eat something they prepared all by themselves. 

Art: "Food For Me"
Preschool and kindergarten demonstrate their nutrition knowledge during this art activity by Patricia N.

Materials:  Paper plates and crayons.

Description: After a unit on nutrition, we let each child have a paper plate and they draw a meal that is healthy and that they like.

Resource Room Related Theme:

Printable Pages:  Cereal Bowl   &  Container of Milk



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