Nibbling Ned Knows Nutrition
In honor of March being National Nutrition Month, I wanted to share one of my favorite lessons on teaching children the difference between healthy and unhealthy foods.
To prepare, create a cute monster named Nibbling Ned by finding a pattern online or creating your own. Cut out his mouth so that he can pretend to eat.
Cover a bulletin board or section of your classroom with one half green paper and one half red paper. Label the green side “Healthy Foods” and the red section “Not So Healthy Foods”. The title of the board is “Nibbling Ned Knows Nutrition”.
Collect a supply of food labels, empty food containers, boxes, cans, etc. from a variety of different foods.
Introduce Nibbling Ned to the children and explain that he loves to eat but he doesn’t always know which foods are healthy and which ones are not so healthy. He has asked for their help to assist him in eating better. Choose one of the food containers and pretend to feed Ned. You can have fun with this and have him act like a monster eating the food (similar to Cookie Monster on Sesame Street). Then ask the students which side of the board the food should be placed, the healthy or not so healthy side. Attach the container to the correct side of the board. Explain the healthy side is labeled green for go because you can eat more portions of this type of food. The not so healthy side is red for stop because you need to stop or refrain from eating too many foods from this side.
After all of your containers are placed on the board invite students to bring in empty containers from home if they would like to feed Ned (send a note home to parents). When a child brings in a label or container have them go to the board, feed Ned and then place their food on the correct side of the board.
The board becomes a nice visual reminder to students and they love visiting with Ned in his home in the classroom!