Guest Author - Alissa Moy
Do you want to have a food unit for your homeschoolers? From nutrition to the five senses, food is a fantastic unit study. Here are some ideas to use in your homeschool classroom for a mini unit on food:
1. Discuss the theme of food. Using a whiteboard or large easel write responses from your children based on their favorite foods and least favorite foods. List them and compare and contrast similarities and differences.
2. Theme the letter of the week with the food theme. Show your children pictures of foods that begin with your letter of the week. For example, the letter “B” would lend itself to pictures of bananas, bread, bagels, beef, broccoli and beans. Ask your homeschooler(s) if they can place the foods in their respective categories, such as fruits, vegetables, grains, protein or fats/sweets.
3. Discuss with your children what one needs to do to become a chef. Write a list of these attributes, as well as educational training on your whiteboard or easel.
4. Have your homeschoolers make a mini book composed of written or dictated stories about topics like favorite snack, fruits I love, or my favorite recipe. They can also draw a picture and illustrate their stories, too.
5. Discuss the importance of fruits in the Food Guide Pyramid. Learn the basics of the Food Guide Pyramid and its role in healthy growth and development. If possible arrange a field trip for your homeschool co-op to visit a restaurant, like Sweet Tomatoes/Souplantation to visit the chefs there for a hands on lesson on the food pyramid.
6. Take a field trip to a local supermarket or farmers market. Many places offer free tours, as well as tasty goodies.
7. Make a fruit salad as a family or in your co-op group. Children can help to mix the fruits in and portion out snack cups of your pre-cut fruit. Some great fruits to use are melon, cut into small chunks, banana slices, oranges, peeled and separated into sections, mango pieces, kiwi slices and small pineapple chunks. Add some exotic fruits to the mix, too, like starfruit and papaya.
8. Check out www.choosemyplate.gov/index.html for great ideas, games and printable resources for your food unit.
9. Utilize the pdf from the USDA to teach your children about nutrition, while having fun and playing games! www.teamnutrition.usda.gov/Resources/go-fish_color.pdf
10. Read about nutritious choices and food groups with the following books: