March is National Nutrition Month! There are so many ways to raise awareness on the importance of healthy eating habits and stay informed about the nutritious choices we have. We’ve created a Nutrition Activity Bucket List to make it easy for teachers, after school programs, activity directors, and parents to print and check off and complete activities for the month.
Here is the printable version. You’ll also find more details and ideas for each activity below.
If you need a quick nutrition activity for the classroom, this 5 Minute Nutritional Activitiy Book for Elementary School from Learning ZoneXpress is very helpful. There are some great ideas that can be used for grades K-6. We’ve included one below as an example!
Source: 5 Minute Activities – Nutrition Activities for Preschoolers
Subject: Food Groups
Activity: Grocery Bag Relay
Supplies Needed: Grocery bags, food pictures
Instructions: In order to learn what foods go in what group, set up grocery bags in the front of the room or field. Label each with a word and corresponding picture – grains, fruits, vegetables, dairy, protein, fats and sweets. Give each preschooler a picture of a one- ingredient food (i.e.: an apple or an English muffin). When it is his or her turn, the child runs to the grocery bags and deposits the picture in the food group bag he/she thinks it belongs. When everyone has taken a turn, empty the bags, one at a time and discuss with the children which ones really belong and which ones actually go somewhere else.
You can also toss around a Toss ‘n Talk-About Nutrition Ball to spark quick conversations about nutrition. Toss it to a student and they have to read a question or fact, then they toss it to another student.
There are so many creative ways to create a bulletin board for health and nutrition! You can have students make a craft or design one yourself. If you like the posters in the bucket list photo we have those and other decorations on our site. Also a great resource is Pinterest.
3) Incorporate health in a fitness activity
Fitness and health go hand in hand. For P.E teachers, it’s important to teach kids the benefits of keeping an active and healthy lifestyle. Use this inflatable cube to help kids learn nutritional facts and incorporate it with fitness activities. Create info cards to go into the sections, like food groups, vitamins, fitness components, etc. Fuel Up to Play 60 also has a list of some great tools for getting active.
4) Plant seeds to start a small garden
For a hands on approach to Nutrition Month, get some seeds for vegetables and fruits to plant. Teach kids how to care for these plants, why they are important to eat, and about the nutrients they need to grow.
5) Activity for reading food labels
It’s not often that we check food labels and read nutrition facts. Some kids may not know how, and may be unaware of what ingredients are very bad for them. There’s a great resource from Kids Health in the Classroom for Reading Food Labels. Also, Heart.org does a great job of explaining the nutrition label.
6) Apply for a Nutrition Grant
If your school could use some better healthy eating choices, try applying for a grant related to nutrition. We are a big supporter of Let’s Move and this salad bar grant is part of that movement. See if your school qualifies! While you’re at it, if you have a great fitness program, apply to become a part of Let’s Move! Active Schools.
Games are a great way to get kids interactive and having fun while learning. Buy a game or make up your own! Check out all of our games related to MyPlate.
8) Create a Healthy Foods Crossword
Collect a list of foods and questions to make a crossword puzzle! For some free printables for younger kids, check out Nourish Interactive.
9) Nutrition Question of the Day
Choose a nutrition trivia question each day and have kids guess the answer. Review the right answer and be sure to include details. You can create DIY nutrition cards, or the 5 Minute Activity books can also be helpful for this activity.
10) Learn to make a new healthy snack
Test out your cooking skills! Pick a healthy snack that you have always wanted to try. Making it yourself will help you understand what ingredients can be used to make something healthy. Check out our blog on Healthy Choices for Kids which includes some fun and easy recipe ideas! For even more recipes, visit Real Simple and Allrecipes.
Check out NationalNutritionMonth.org for more great activities for health and fitness.
Here is another great resource as well!
Share some ideas on how you prepare for National Nutrition Month!