Nutrition Activities & Fun Ideas for Kids
You have come to the right place if you are looking for fun, engaging and exciting Nutrition themed activities to do with toddlers, preschoolers and kindergartners. Our activities are widely used by teachers, moms, dads, child care providers and more!
All our activities are available at no cost and are free to print and share. Select below to get started.
Nutrition Arts and Crafts
Paper Plate Meals
Have the children look through magazines to find pictures of different kinds of foods. Then have them cut out the pictures and glue them onto paper plates to make ‘breakfasts’, ‘lunches’ or ‘dinners’.
Round piece of tag board
Red tempera paint
Yellow & white Easter grass or yarn scraps
green, red, and black felt
brown scraps of paper
1. Mix red tempera with glue. Let children paint tag board with red glue.
2. Tear brown scraps of paper and crumple them. Stick them to tag board (sausage). Use green felt (peppers) red felt (tomatoes) black felt (olives) Easter grass or yarn (cheese).
3. Presto — pizza!
Flour or salt
Sprinkle flour or salt over a baking sheet. Show your child you can draw in the flour with your finger. Draw letters, numbers, shapes.
Play hangman or other common games in the flour.
Draw initials of favorite videos or movies and have child guess them.
Adult prepares pudding ahead of time or has children help make if instant. Allow child to finger paint with the pudding on a plastic lined paper or waxed paper. Clean up is fun because it is edible.
One of our most natural resources, salt also makes for fun art!
Mix: 1 1/2 cups of salt
4 cups flour
1 1/2 cups water
When dough forms a ball around the spoon. knead the dough well, adding water if it is to crumbly. Set the oven at 150 degrees Celsius and bake until hard (keep an eye on it in the oven).
This can be painted with paint and decorated if wanted (allow to cool first).
Help children make over-sized toothbrushes. Use as a bulletin board titled “Healthy Habits”.
Fold a 9×12 piece of white const. paper in half.
Draw lines and have children cut up the lines and make bristles for your tooth brush.
Make a brush handle out of colored const. paper.
Put child’s name on the handle.
Glue brush onto handle.
Nutrition Games and Activities
Mix one cup of beans, one cup of salt and one cup of rice together in a bowl. Provide the children with a strainer and a colander and tell them to separate the items in the bowl into three separate bowls–one with beans, one with salt and one with rice.
After the children are successful, ask them if they can think of another way to accomplish the task.
Fishing for Good Foods
Children can cut pictures from magazines (or for the little ones have them already cut) from the five basic food groups. Have the children glue these pictures onto a fish shape cut from construction paper. Slip a paper clip onto the front of each fish.
Make a fishing pole from a dowel and tie a magnet onto the end of the string. Label five small buckets with the name/picture of each food group. Have the children try to catch a fish and encourage them to decide which group the food belongs to and then put the fish in the correct bucket.
Questioning: I want to eat this vegetable.
What do you think I should do to prepare it?
If I want to cut it, what should I use?
(hide the pepper)
Do you remember what color the pepper is?
What parts of the pepper do you think we can eat?
What parts can’t we eat?
Can you think of any vegetables with seeds we can eat?
Can you think of any vegetables with skins we can’t eat?
If we all wanted to taste a piece, how many pieces would we need?
How is this pepper (red) different from this pepper (green)?
How is this pepper different from a carrot/potato?
How does it taste?
What are some of the ways we can eat peppers? (use other kinds of foods)
Various food items
Cut up and clean various food items. Blindfold your child and have him/her taste and smell different foods. Have him/her describe the various tastes, smells and textures before they guess what it is.
Any raw root vegetable (carrot, turnip, parsnip, beet)
Large dish or shallow platter
If the vegetable has leaves trim them. Leave about 1/4 inch stem. Slice off about 1 inch from the base of the stem. Put root tops in platter with enough water to just cover the bottom, not over the top. Fill the spaces with clean pebbles.
Put in a sunny windowsill and in two or three weeks you should have a leafy garden. Keep it well watered.
Hanging Carrot Garden
Cut a section about 2 inches from the top of the carrot. Leave any leaves or stalks attached. Stand the cut end in a dish of water on top of the absorbent cotton.
Once shoots have sprouted, remove and scoop a hollow bowl into the end of the carrot using a potato peeler. Push the wooden skewer through the top half of the carrot. Tie the same size length of thread for each side of the skewer.
Hang the carrot up in a sunny window and fill the inside “bowl” with water. The shoots will grow up to the light, and you will soon have a hanging garden!
Good Food Collage
Make a “good food for their body” collage out of pictures from magazines. They might even want to hang them on their own refrigerator to remind them which foods are healthy.
Brown construction paper
What to Do:
Cut ten large potato shapes brown construction paper and number them from 1 to 10.Tape the shapes to the floor in the proper sequence. Then let the children take turns hopping one potato to the other as everyone recites the rhyme.
One potato, two potato,
Three potato, four
Five potato, six potato,
Seven potato, more.
Eight potato, nine potato, Here is ten.
Now let’s start all over again.
Nutrition Recipes and Snacks
Fruit Plate (lunch or snack)
Give each child a paper plate and sliced fruit. Ask them to create themselves using the slices of fruit. Example grapes for eyes, sliced apple for eye brows, banana sliced lengthwise for a mouth and a kiwi slice for a nose.
This presents an ideal time to discuss the importance of eating well to maintain healthy bodies. When their creation is finished they may eat the fruit plate for snack!
Watermelon & Various other melons
Knife Melon ball scoop or small ice cream scoop
Adult cuts a watermelon in half. Have kids scoop out the inside using an ice cream scoop or melon baller.
Cut open other melons and have kids make balls with the melon ball scoop from the other melons. Fill the watermelon with balls from the various melons. This makes a great summer snack or dessert.
Happy Face Sandwiches
Alfalfa or bean sprouts
Other small food items
Spread peanut butter on one side of bread – open faced. Have child make eyes, nose, mouth and hair from other items provided.
Encourage kids to be creative and eat what they create.
Nutrition Songs, Poems and Finger Plays
The Shape-Up Song
Sung to ‘Farmer in the Dell’
We’re jumping up and down
We’re jumping up and down
We’re getting lots of exercise
We’re jumping up and down.
We bend and touch our toes…..
We kick our legs up high……
We jog around the room…….
We wiggle our whole body….
We stretch up to the sky…….
Basic Food Groups
Here are the food groups:
Dairy, bread, and meat
And don’t forest that vegetables
Are important for you to eat.
Have a food from each food group
Each and every day,
And you’ll grow strong and healthy –
Good nutrition is the way!
Vegetable Soup game like London Bridges
We are making vegetable soup
Vegetable soup, Vegetable soup
We are making vegetable soup
Now put in the (vegetable of choice).
Take the ________and stir it up,
Stir it up, stir it up,
Take the ________and stir it up
While making vegetable soup.
(tune: Are you Sleeping?)
We need food and we need water
We need sleep, lots of sleep
To help our bodies grow
From our heads down to our toes
Grow, grow, grow
Grow, grow, grow
Meet the Veggies
Tomato: I’m round and red
And juicy too.
Chop me for a salad,
Or dump me in your stew!
Lettuce: Hey, wait a minute!
If a salad you’re fixin’
I can stand alone.
No need for the mixin’!
Onion: Chop me and slice me
But keep water near.
I sometimes get juicy
And can bring on a tear!
Carrot: Orange is my color
I stand long and lean.
In the garden you’ll see
Just my bright leaves of green.
Pea: I live in a pod
With so many others.
I think I was born
With one hundred brothers!
Green Bean: Look in the garden
You’ll see my sign.
Then bring out your basket
When it’s pickin’ time!
Potato: I’ve an eye for perfection
To give you the best.
Baked, mashed or fried-
I’ll pass the test!
Cabbage: My head is quite thick
So people tell me.
I guess that’s the reason
Grocery stores sell me!
Celery: Cut and rinse my stalks,
Then spread on cream cheese.
A refreshing hors d’oeuvre
To make parties a breeze!
Squash: Some call me a game,
A game of good sport,
But I’m really to eat
As a side dish of sorts!
Brussel Sprout: I’m kinda cute
When I’m served on a plate
I’m just a little mouthful.
You can eat six or eight!
Cauliflower: I carry white flowers
To break off and eat.
I’m sometimes served raw,
A nutritious snack treat!
Broccoli: My friends call me trees.
Now that’s a funny name.
Though I am a dark green
With stalks just the same.
We’re the veggies
You should eat every day!
Now don’t make a face.
We’re as good as we say!
(tune 3 blind mice)
Cheese, cheese, cheese we love cheese
Please, please please give us cheese
We like white cheese oh yes we do
Orange cheese taste wonderful too
Yellow cheese is for me and you
Oh, give us cheese
For catalogs listing other free or inexpensive nutrition education materials available from the Meat Board of Illinois (including free Food Pyramid chart) call 1-800-368-3138 (outside Illinois
312-670-9440 or 312-670-9441 (within Illinois)
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All of our theme ideas have come from our imagination and from reader submissions. Please use this form to contact us if you have crafts, activities, games, recipes, songs or poems that you would like us to add to this theme.