3 Food Activities for Preschoolers
- Written by Alexis Webster
Children are constantly absorbing information as they explore the world around them. Meal and snack times are great for food education, but this can also be taught at any time! Integrate food knowledge with other types of activities throughout the day so children can learn outside of meal and snack time. Caregivers and parents can help children develop positive attitudes toward food by regularly providing food education activities.1 Below are fun activities for preschoolers. Think about the different ways you can talk and teach about food while doing these activities.
Food + Physical Activity
1) Salad Toss from Paint Your Plate2
- open space, imagination, and your bodies!
- You’re going to make a salad
- Have each child take turns naming a food they would like to add to the salad
- Each time a child names a food, have everyone ‘toss’ to mix the ingredient into the salad! Toss can be wiggling, hopping, or any type of movement you can think of.
Switch it up! | Make different types of meals: soup or stew, pizza, stir fry! What if you made a fruit salad?
Food + Science
2) Apple Slice Activity
- apples (any kind), lemon, knife, cutting board, and plates
- Let the children help you wash the fruit, cut the apples and lemons into slices, and inspect the seeds.
- Leave the apples on the plates
- Squeeze lemon on apple slices
- Talk about it throughout the day and talk about what’s happening.
- What will happen to the apple slices if we leave them for the afternoon?
- What do you think it will taste like?
- Discuss different types of apples and citrus!
- What does it taste like?
- Why do apples turn brown?
Engage the Senses | The apples with lemon are edible! Let the children taste the apple slices.
Food + Art
3) Create a Rainbow with Fruit and Vegetables
- pictures of fruit and vegetables, scissors, paper, and colouring supplies
- Teach children about the colours of different fruits and vegetables
- Print off or clip from magazines images of fruits and vegetables for each colour of the rainbow
- Show the children the images and talk about them:
- What do you think they taste like?
- Do the fruit and vegetables come in different colours? What are they?
- E.g., apples, peppers, lettuce
- What do you think it feels like? Crunchy or mushy?
Switch it up! | Let the children be creative and have them draw their own fruits and vegetables!
More Ideas Like This?
- Cooking with Kids from CHEERS for child care
- 7 Tips for Gardening with Young Children from CHEERS for child care
- Rainbow Plate
- Government of Alberta. (2012). Alberta nutrition guidelines for children and youth: A child care, school and recreation/community center resource manual. Retrieved February 20, 2022, from https://open.alberta.ca/publications/5906406
- Ontario Dietitians in Public Health. (n.d). Paint Your Plate Toolkit: A Toolkit For Ontario Child Care Providers. https://www.odph.ca/paint-your-plate-english