Beacon Lesson Plan Library

The ABCs of Healthy Foods

Cathy Burgess
Bay District Schools


Students make an alphabet book of nutritional foods using the information they learned about nutrition and the value of different foods. Students also taste the foods represented by the letters they wrote about in their alphabet books.


The student understands positive health behaviors that enhance wellness.

The student classifies food and food combinations according to the Food Guide Pyramid.

The student maintains a single idea or topic in writing.

The student uses end punctuation and capitalizes initial words of sentences, names of people, `I`, days of the week, and months of the year.

The student knows nutritional value of various foods (for example, fruit, cereals, dairy, meat).


-Snacks that match the student’s letter of a nutritional food from the class ABC book
-Letter to parents asking for volunteers to send in foods that match their child’s letter represented in the class ABC book
-Chart paper
-Letter sheet
-Several Nutrition Facts labels from different food packages
-[Eat The Right Stuff: Food Facts], Reef, Twenty-First Century Books, 1993
-Binding machine
-ABC book checklist
-"Tip-Top Treats" song, [Busy Kids: Song And Rhyme Preschool-Kindergarten], The Education Center, 1999
-"Snack Time" song, [Busy Kids: Song And Rhyme Preschool-Kindergarten], The Education Center, 1999 (see Teacher Prep.)
-"Snack Attack" poem, [Busy Kids: Song And Rhyme Preschool-Kindergarten], The Education Center, 1999 (see Teacher Prep)
-Student Web Lesson, Get on the Right Track to Healthy Eating. This is a Beacon Learning Center product. (see Weblinks)


1. Make copies of the checklist, parent letter, song, letter sheet.
2. Send home family letter; Many grocery stores will donate food if you ask.
3. Gather chart paper and with a marker make a T-chart. Label the left side Foods
That Make You Strong and Healthy and label the right side Foods That You Should Eat
Only Once In A While. Use different color markers when you fill it out.
4. Gather 3 different colored markers, 1 pack of crayons per students, and about five nutrition fact labels.
5. Have the book [Eat The Right Stuff: Food Facts] out ready to read.
6. If possible have a volunteer come into the room to help set up the food and pass it
7. Preview the Student Web Lesson, Get on the Right Track to Healthy Eating (see Weblinks). Because of the audio attached, the download time for each page is long. To reduce this waiting time, download each page prior to the students using the story. The pages will be stored on your computer for quick and easy student access as long as your Internet access is maintained. When you close your Internet access or shut down your computer, you will need to preload this story again.
8. Obtain copies of "Snack Time" and "Snack Attack" from lesson 4, Snacks R Us. (see Weblinks)


*This is the fifth lesson, day five and six in the Happy, Healthy Me unit.

Day 5

1. Review healthy snacks by singing "Snack Time" and reciting "Snack Attack." Review healthy snacks and the Food Pyramid. Ask: Suppose you are not sure if a food is healthy or not, what would you do? How could you find out? Show students a nutrition facts label. Explain that the label tells what major nutrients are in the food. Ask: Who remembers what a nutrient is? (A nutrient is a substance or ingredient in a food.) Then read some nutrients and their amounts.

2. Now tell students some things they want to look for are fat, sugar, and salt. Point these out on the back of the labels.

3. Tell students: Your body needs many different kinds of food to stay strong and healthy. What are they? (5 food groups) What is the best way to get all the different nutrients? (Balanced meals) These are all positive health behaviors that make us healthier.

4. Read and discuss [Eat The Right Stuff: Food Facts]. Point out apples are a healthy food. Now ask students What if you only ate apples? Would that be a healthy diet? Say: Tell me some foods that make you healthy. Record answers on the left side of T-chart titled, Foods That Make You Strong and Healthy.

5. Talk about some foods that are ok to eat sometimes, but you shouldn’t eat them too often. What are these foods? (Sweets, oil, and fats) Record them on the right side of the T-chart titled, Foods You Should Only Eat Once in Awhile.

6. Introduce the song "Tip-Top Treats." Encourage students to name healthy foods for additional verses. Do this several times with several different verses.

7. Now ask the students to create a class alphabet book of nutritional foods called The ABC’s of Healthy Food. Assign each student a letter of the alphabet (some may need two depending on how many students are in class.) They are to think of a nutritious food that starts with their letters, write the upper case letter, lower case letter, neatly draw and color the food and write why it is good for the body. The sentence should have correct punctuation and capitalization.

8. The children are to use the following sentence pattern:
_____ is for _______. It is good for your body because__________________________


This is a good time to show them an example.

“C is for carrot. It is good for your body because it is from the vegetable group. You should get at least 3-5 servings of vegetables a day to make your body healthy.”

9. Tell students that they will get two letter sheets. One is for the draft we call the “sloppy copy." The sloppy copy is used for planning and getting everything down like you want it to be. They can erase or add to it. When they get everything the way they want it, they must conference with the teacher for feedback to see if they are ready for the “neat sheet." The neat sheet is the final copy with no mistakes and everything written correctly. Pass out the checklist so students know what is expected of their work and go over it together.

10. Tell students you need volunteers to send in the food that matches their letter of the alphabet. Pass out notes asking parents for volunteers to send in nutritional foods for our class to taste. There are two things to know. One is don’t pick L is for Liver, if you don’t want someone to send in liver to try. Two, your family does not have to send in a food. It is voluntary and we will eat what comes in.

11. Hand out letter sheets for sloppy copies and let students get started on their pages for the book.

12. As students work, walk around the class and give positive and corrective feedback. Examples of positive feedback would be: “How lovely to see you following the checklist.” "I'm glad to see you matching your letter S to soup. Soup has so many good things for you." Corrective feedback might sound like "I'm sorry you aren't ready for your neat sheet because you haven't drawn the lower case letter for your food. Let's look at the checklist." Let me help you think of some foods that match your letter.(Make a list and let student choose from the list.)

Day 6

1. Sing and read all previous songs and poems. This is a good review. Look at the charts made yesterday: Foods that Make You Strong and Healthy and Foods You Should Only Eat Once in A While. Add any new responses.

2. Students are to continue working on their pages for the ABC book. Review checklist and how students get the neat sheet for the final draft. They should finish today.

3. Now it is time for the tasting of healthy foods celebration. Set up foods while students work on their pages for the book. When their pages are complete, they may sample the foods.

4. Take up student pages and put into book form. (I always use the bookbinding machine and laminate it for durability.)

5. Share with class the next day. Have students tell which food group their healthy foods came from and how many servings of this group are needed daily. Then, put the bound book in the book baskets for independent reading.

6. Remind students that tomorrow they will be taking an assessment. Be sure to review the Food Pyramid, nutritious balanced meals, and healthy snacks.

7. During small group, students listen to, view and discuss through interaction the Student Web Lesson, Get on the Right Track to Healthy Eating. The web lesson is most beneficial when students are grouped in pairs. This facilitates discussions between students, and students learn best when actively engaged in discussing what is being learned. After all students have had an opportunity to interact with the web lesson, a discussion should be held. The discussion and formative feedback given as a result of this web lesson are an important part of this activity.

Day 7

Give the Summative Assessment 1. See Extensions for more information.


Formatively assess student’s knowledge of nutritional value of various foods, understanding of positive health behaviors that enhance wellness, use of end punctuation and capitalization of initial words of sentences, and maintaining a single idea or topic in writing by using the checklist of the ABC Book of Healthy Foods. The specific criteria the teacher is looking for are a nutritious food from the food pyramid and a sentence that tells why it is good for the body. (See associated file)


1. Students could use the computer to write their pages and insert a picture from clip art to go along with them. A parent volunteer who can pull students one at a time and help students is an excellent way to do this.

2. Students could design a cover, title page, and dedication page for the book in the writing center.

3. The Beacon Unit Plan associated with this lesson can be viewed by clicking on the link located at the top of this page or by using the following URL: Once you select the unit’s link, scroll to the bottom of the unit plan page to find the section, Associated Files. This section contains links to the Unit Plan Overview, Diagnostic and Summative Assessments, and other associated files (if any).

4.. The Student Web Lesson can be used as a shared reading activity teaching phonics, context clues or punctuation. It is an excellent opportunity for a picture walk or retelling of the story. This particular story lends itself well to predicting and to using context clues to read unfamiliar words.

Web Links

I would use this website with the class whole group with a big screen TV, if it is available in the media center for check out. It is an excellent review. It could be used at the computer center for students with a high reading ability that could independently read it.
Kids Food Cyber Club

Use this link to obtain the materials referenced in Teacher Prep.
Snacks R Us

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