Proper nutrition and maintenance of the body should be
emphasized every year. The well being of an organism is important
to his overall wellness. Nutrients are available from digested food and
moves through an organism's body by via the circulatory system.
Nutritious foods can be divided into four groups, meat, milk,
bread and cereal, and vegetable and fruit. In addition, it is often
useful to talk about an "extra" or "junk" food group, since so many foods
we eat fit into that category. Junk foods are those which “fill us
up,” but do not provide very many nutrients for our bodies. Some
foods may start as worthwhile foods, but so much salt, fat, or sugar has
been added that the nutritional value drops. For example, popcorn
is a good high fiber snack, until it is doused with butter and salt.
Yogurt and granola are fairly nutritious, until excess sugar is added.
Foods that provide the same kinds of nutrients are grouped together.
Nutrients are things that our bodies need to grow and be healthy, such
as proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals. Our bodies
have no requirement for table sugar or honey in any amount, and it is not
necessary for energy during, before, or after exercise. Other nutrients
can fill that need more effectively. The traditional food groups
can be divided in the following ways:
MEAT GROUP- meats, eggs, peanut butter, nuts, beans
MILK - milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, pudding (not butter,
since it is mostly fat)
BREAD-CEREAL - bread, crackers, cereal, muffins, pasta, tortillas
FRUIT-VEGETABLE - fruits, vegetables (except dried peas, beans,
and nuts) juices
"JUNK" - food with little value to the human body
- Discuss with students why we divide foods into different
groups. Go over all five of the groups, including "Junk" as another
- Instruct the children to bring 4-5 pictures of food from
home. They should be simple foods, not casseroles or whole dinners.
Some may be junk, but most hopefully will be nutritious. You will
have to use your judgement of what constitutes junk. Be consistent
in your grouping.
- Go over the pictures with the rest of the class and have them
identify the group for each food.
- Let them paste their pictures onto the butcher
paper to make a class collage of the different food groups.