Target Grade Level / Age Range:

Kindergarten-2 nd Grades


45 minutes


The students will be able to identify food groups and healthy food options.


Suggested Companion Resources (books, websites, etc.):

  • Tops and Bottoms by Janet Stevens


  • Nutrition- the process of providing or obtaining the food necessary for health and growth.
  • Farmer- a person who owns or manages a farm.
  • MyPlate- a diagram of a plate that represents a healthy diet

Background – Agricultural Connections:

Eating a well-rounded and varied diet will go a long way toward making sure you have all the nutrients you need. Our bodies require protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and fats to keep going. Each one of those components can be found in the foods you eat as part of a healthy, balanced diet: fruits, vegetables, proteins, grains and dairy.

A farmer's main goal is to produce a good crop and/or healthy animals in order to make a living and to feed the population. Farmers are responsible for all crops and livestock that are needed for us to survive. Without food, the world would slowly die, and farmers work hard every day to keep plenty of crops and animal products in the market to keep that from happening.

Interest Approach or Motivator: 

Read the story Tops and Bottoms with students. Following the reading, introduce the vocabulary words to the students. Discuss the following with students:

  • What makes a food healthy?
  • What does a farmer do?
  • What role does a farmer play in raising healthy crops and livestock?
  • How are the animals in the story similar or different than farmers?
  • What impact does a farmer have on his or her community?
  • What are some healthy foods farmers raise?


  1. Introduce the MyPlate concept to students with a graphic from . Discuss:
    1. What does each color represent?
    2. Why are the colors different sizes?
    3. What would be an example of a food that would go in each of the categories?
  2. Pass out the cardstock to students. Ask them draw proportions on the cardstock for all of the food groups.
  3. Pass out scissors, magazines and glue to students. Ask them to cut out pictures of foods from the magazines that represent the appropriate amount of each of the food groups and paste them into the group categories.
  4. After 10-15 minutes, have students put their materials down. Go around the room to each student and have them present their poster and explain the foods in their food groups.

Extension Activities:

Visit or Skype with a local dietitian to discuss translating MyPlate into healthy meals.


Kelsey Faivre, IALF


Adapted from Neva VerHelst

National Agriculture Literacy Outcomes:

  • Plants and Animals for Food, Fiber and Energy Outcomes:
    • Identity examples of feed/food products eaten by animals and people
  • Food, Health and Lifestyle Outcomes
    • Identify healthy food options
    • Recognize that agriculture provides out most basic necessities: food, fiber, energy and shelter
  • Culture, Society, Economy and Geography Outcomes
    • Explain why farming is important to communities

Iowa Core Standards:

  • 2-PS1-1: Plan and conduct an investigation to describe and classify different kinds of materials by their observable properties.
  • 21.K–2.HL.1 Understand and use basic health concepts to enhance personal, family, and community health.
  • 21.K–2.HL.4  Identify influences that affect personal health and the health of others.

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