Preschool Nutrition Theme

Good nutrition is essential for children. Education is one way we teach our children about food.
Enjoy these child nutrition activities as your children have fun learning.

Book List

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Songs & Fingerplays

    If I had a Bagel - sung to the tune "If I Had A Hammer"

    If I had a bagel.
    I'd eat it in the morning.
    I'd eat it in the evening,
    All over this land.
    I'd eat it for breakfast,
    I'd eat it for supper,
    I'd eat it with all my friends and sisters and brothers,
    All, over this land.

    Little Donuts - sung to "Ten Little Indians"

    One little, two little, thre little donuts
    Four little, five little, six little donuts
    Seven little, eight little, nine little donuts
    Ten donuts in the bakery shop.

    Lets Pretend - sung to "Here We Are Together"

    Let's pretend that we are bakers,
    Are baker, are bakers
    Let's pretend that we are bakers
    As busy as can be.
    We'll knead all the dough out
    And bake loaves of bread.
    Let's pretend that we are bakers
    As busy as can be.

    Five Little Donuts - fingerplay

    Down around the corner, at the bakery shop
    There were five little donuts with sugar on top (hold up five fingers).
    Along came _____ (child's name), all alone
    And she/he took the biggest one home.

    Continue the verses until all the donuts are gone.

    I Eat My Peas With Honey - poem

    I eat my peas with honey;
    I've done it all my life.
    It makes the peas taste funny,
    But it keeps them on the knife.

    One Potato, Two Potato - fingerplay

    One potato, two potato, three potato, four
    Five potato, six potato, seven potato, more .
    (Hold up one finger at a time as you count. Clap on more.)

    Peanut Sitting on A Railroad Track - song

    A peanut sat on a railroad track
    His heart was all aflutter (pat hand over heart.)
    Around the bend came number ten, (hold up ten fingers).
    Choo-Choo Peanut Butter (pretend you are pulling whistle.)
    Smack (clap hands together).

    Snack Song - sung to "Down By The Station"

    Around our snack table
    Early in the morning,
    We get lots of good things for our day.
    Food we need to help us grow and play
    Chew, chew, crunch, crunch,
    Down it goes!

    ~Sister Linda Kaman R.S.M.

    Arts & Crafts

    Bread Collage:

    Provide magazines for the children to find and cut out pictures of different types of breads. These pictures can be glued or pasted to a piece of construction paper or a paper plate, creating a bread collage.

    Play Dough

    The children can assist in preparing play dough. If the mixture is left uncolored, it will resemble bread dough and have a similar consistency. Place three cups of flour and one cup of salt in a mixing blow. Add a cup of water and stir. Keep adding small amounts of water and mix until the dough is workable but not sticky.

    Muffin Tin Paint Trays

    Fill muffin tins with various colors of paint in the art area for the children to use. Pastry brushes could be used as paint applications.

    Biscuit Cutter Prints

    Place biscuit cutters and a shallow pan of paint out at the art table. The children can dip the biscuit cutter into the paint. After this, the biscuit cutter can be placed on a piece of construction paper. The children can repeat the process as desired.

    Bread Sponge Painting

    Cut sponges into different shapes and types of bread. Place the sponges and shallow trays of tempera paint on the art table. The children can dip a sponge into the paint and then press it onto a piece of paper to create bread shaped prints.

    Collage of Dairy Foods

    Give children magazines, scissors, construction paper, and glue. Have them cut out pictures of dairy foods from magazines.


    Purchase a package of paper placemats. Prepare in advance stencils of a plate (make a circle or buy paper plates), fork, knife, spoon, cup, and napkin. Let the children trace these items into the paper placemat in the correct positions. Children then may color their placemat if they want.

    Collage of Fruits and Vegetables

    Have the children cut out pictures of fruits and vegetables from magazines. Glue on construction paper.

    Make A Pizza

    Cut out cheese strips from yellow construction paper, mushrooms from tan construction paper, pepperoni from brown construction paper, onions from white construction paper and green peppers from green construction paper. Trace large circles on off-white construction paper for the crust and trace medium circles on red construction paper for the tomato sauce. Have the children cut out circles and glue on their favorite toppings. Small paper plates can be spray painted with silver paint for the pizza pan.

    Collage of Bread and Cereals

    Children can find and cut out pictures of bread and cereals from magazines. Glue onto construction paper.

    Thank You Card

    Make a thank you card for whoever cooks at home to show them how much they are appreciated for the good nutritious foods they prepare.

    Make A Pizza From Felt

    Make a pizza from felt. Cut out cheese strips from yellow felt, mushrooms from tan colored felt paper, pepperoni from brown colored felt, onions from white felt and green peppers from green felt. Trace large circles on off-white felt for the crust and trace medium circles on red felt for the tomato sauce. Cover a plate with foil or spray with silver paint spray for the pizza pan. Pick up books from the library on food and nutrition.


    Favorite Bread Graph

    After tasting various types of bread, the children can assist in making a glass graph of their favorite types of bread. Across the top of a piece of tagboard, print the caption 'Our Favorite Breads.' Draw or paste pictures of different types or flavors of bread along the left-hand side of the tagboard. On the chart, place each child's name or a picture next to the picture of his/her favorite bread. The results of the graph can be shared with the children using math vocabulary words such as most, more, fewer, least, etc. Display the graph for future reference.

    Muffin Tin Math

    Muffin tins can be used for counting and sorting activities based upon the children's developmental level. For example, numerals can be printed in each cup, and the children can place the corresponding set of corn or toy pieces in each cup. Likewise, colored circles can be cut out of construction paper and glued to the bottom of the muffin cups. The children can then place objects of matching colors in the corresponding muffin cups.

    Pretzel Sort and Count

    Provide each child with a cup containing various sizes and shapes of pretzels. Encourage the children to empty the cup onto a clean napkin or plate and sort the pretzels by size or shape. If appropriate, the children can count how many pretzels they have of each shape. Upon completion of the activity, the children can eat the pretzels.

    Breadstick Serration

    Provide breadsticks or pictures of breadsticks of varying lengths. The children can place the breadsticks in order from the shortest to the longest.

    Theme Ideas

    Leafy Foods

    Let children see leafy foods such as spinach or several different types of lettuce. Ask them why they're called leafy. Compare the leaves on each. Let them taste the different leaves. Ask them if they all taste the same or different.

    Make an art activity that becomes a game for learning Nutrition! Draw a large Food pyramid on butcher paper and label all the sections (the side of any bread bag usually has a picture that is good to copy.) Have the children cut pictures of food out of the weekly grocery circulars. Decide together where to glue them on the pyramid. Once this is done, it can be used for a game. Gather play food items from the housekeeping center (or glue pictures on cardboard & laminate). Distribute them during circle or group time. Encourage each child to put their food on the pyramid.

    ~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

    Large Muscle

    *Tricycles - during outdoor play, encourage children to use the tricycles for making bakery deliveries.
    *Bread Trail - set up a bread trail in the classroom. Tape pictures of the bread creating a trail on the floor. Have the children follow the trail by walking or hopping.


    *Different types of grains can be placed in the sensory table. Examples include corn, rice, wheat, barley, and oats. Provide pails, scoops, measuring cups, flour sifters, and spoons to encourage active exploration.
    *Place playdough in the sensory table with rolling pins, measuring cups, muffin tins, and plastic knives.
    *Cooking utensils used for preparing baked goods can be placed in the sensory table with soapy water and dishcloths. The children can 'wash' the items.

    Bread Basket Upset

    This game is played in a circle formation on chairs or carpet squares. One child is asked to sit in the middle of the circle as the baker. Hand a picture of various bread, rolls, muffins, etc. to each of the other children. To play the game, the baker calls out the name of a bread. The child holding that particular bread exchange places. The game continues. When the baker calls out, "Break Basket Upset" all of the children must exchange places, including the baker. The child who is unable to find a place is a new baker.

    Bread Tasting Party

    Bake or purchase various types and flavors of bread. Cut the bread into small pieces and place these samples on paper plates for the children to taste. Discuss the types of bread, textures, flavors, and scents.

    Yeast Experiment

    To demonstrate the effects of yeast, try this experiment. Pour one package of dry yeast, a cup of sugar, and one cup of warm water into an empty soda bottle. Cover the bottle opening with a balloon and watch it expand.


    The occupation of the baker can be examined through books and discussion.

    Sharing Breads

    Bake bread or muffins to give to a home for the elderly, the homeless or some other organization. If possible, take a walk and have the children deliver them.


    Invite people from cultural backgrounds to bake or share bread originating from the native countries. As a follow-up activity, assist the children in writing thank-you notes.


    Various plastic play foods, pictures of food cut from magazines and laminated.

    Table Activities

    file folder activities; foods cut from magazines and laminated, paper plates for children to arrange their own breakfast, lunch, or supper meal.


    aprons, chef hats and small pizza boxes (make the pizza as in the art activity to put in the boxes). Children can pretend to be a pizza delivery person.


    Grow a vegetable or fruit plant. Post nutrition posters.

    Science Activity

    Make bread. Frozen bread dough loaves can be purchased. Take the dough from the freezer and put it in a greased pan. Grease the top of the loaf and cover with wax paper. Put in a warm place. Children can observe it several times throughout the day as it rises. Bake the bread according to the directions on the package.

    Sand Table

    Fill the table with sand, potting soil, or rice. Bury a variety of plastic veggies and invite children to dig them up with hand tools used for gardening.

    Get 2 copies of the food pyramid. Cut one into puzzle pieces and use the second as the base, Let the kids match the pieces to the base.

    ~Submitted by Criss

    Peanuts Growing

    Let children pretend to be peanuts in a shell. Have them choose a partner; then one child can pretend to crack the peanut and take it out of its shell.

    Sharing Time

    Take one day each week to talk about each of the food groups.

    *Discuss Dairy Foods - Discuss why bodies need good nutritious foods. Show children food models or containers of dairy products such as cheese, milk and yogurt.
    *Discuss Fruits and Vegetables - Show the children food models or real fruit and vegetables. Let the children know they should be eating 3 to 5 of these each day.
    *Discuss Meats and Protein Foods - Show children food models of meats and protein foods. Ask them what happens to the way foods look after they are cooked.
    *Discuss Breads and Cereals - Show children food models or actual breads and cereals.
    *Discuss Peanuts - Discuss peanuts in their different forms. Review the food groups you discussed already.

    Dramatic Play


    Prepare the housekeeping area to resemble a bakery where the children can pretend to make bread and baked goods to sell to their customers. Provide the following items; aprons, baker's hats, bowls, mixing spoons, pans, rolling pins, muffin tins, measuring cups, egg cartons, empty bread/roll mix boxes, oven mitts or hot pads, a cash register, a poster/pictures depicting baked goods.


    Prepare the housekeeping area as a restaurant. Provide props such as a tablecloth, dishes, cooking utensils, and a cash register with play money. Create menus by cutting pictures from magazines and gluing onto construction paper. Include pictures of different baked goods.

    In The Kitchen

    Trees In a Broccoli Forest - Makes 4 servings


    Dipping Sauce

    * 1/4 cup plain nonfat yogurt
    * 1/4 cup light sour cream
    * 2 teaspoons honey
    * 2 teaspoons spicy brown mustard

    Broccoli Trees

    * 2 carrots, peeled
    * 3 cups broccoli florets
    * 4 cherry tomatoes
    * 3 tablespoons parsley leaves


    1: To prepare dipping sauce, combine yogurt, sour cream, honey, and mustard in a small bowl.
    2: Hold carrots against cutting board and trim off ends. Cut each half, crosswise, then lengthwise to make four pieces.
    3: Arrange each plate by putting two carrot pieces side-by-side in the center. Arrange broccoli around the carrots forming a cluster. Arrange the tomatoes at the top of the plate. Spoon dip around the base of carrots and sprinkle with parsley.

    Field Trips


    Arrange a visit to a local bakery. Observe the process of bread and baked goods production. Discuss a bakers job and uniform.


    Take a trip to a farm where grains are grown. Notice the equipment and machinery used to plant and harvest the crops.

    Grocery Store

    Tour a grocery store and find the bakery department. The children can look at the many types of breads and ways they are packaged.


    Preschool Nutrition Theme - Preschool Plan-It
    Food & Nutrition - A to Z Teacher's Stuff
    Food and Nutrition Themes - Child Care Lounge
    Nutrition Printables for Children - DLTK
    Health & Nutrition - First School
    Nutrition Theme Unit -

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