Food Groups & Nutrients Lesson Plan

Instructor: Dana Dance-Schissel

Dana teaches social sciences at the college level and English and psychology at the high school level. She has master's degrees in applied, clinical and community psychology.

What is a food group? Why are nutrients important? This lesson plan explains the food groups and the importance of choosing nutrient-rich foods. A menu planning activity solidifies understanding.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • summarize the importance of healthy eating
  • list and describe the five food groups
  • explain the importance of nutrients
  • outline the guidelines for healthy eating


45 to 60 minutes

Curriculum Standards


Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; provide an accurate summary of the text distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.


Follow precisely a multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks.


Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 6-8 texts and topics.


Integrate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text with a version of that information expressed visually (e.g., in a flowchart, diagram, model, graph, or table).


Distinguish among facts, reasoned judgment based on research findings, and speculation in a text.


Compare and contrast the information gained from experiments, simulations, video, or multimedia sources with that gained from reading a text on the same topic.


  • A worksheet created using the quiz from the associated video lesson
  • Paper plates
  • Markers or colored pencils


  • Begin by asking students to list all of the foods they have eaten today.
    • Are most of the foods you've eaten toady healthy or unhealthy? Why?
    • Why is it important to eat healthy foods?
  • Play the video lesson Healthy Diet Planning Guidelines: Nutrients & Food Groups for the class, pausing it at 1:01.
    • What food swaps could you make in your diet for today to make it healthier?
  • Resume the video lesson, pausing it at 3:35.
  • Write the five food groups on the board.
    • Take another look at your list of foods. How many of the five food groups are represented?
    • Are there foods you have listed that don't fit in any of the groups? Why?
  • Resume the video lesson, pausing it this time at 4:10.
    • Which nutrients appear in the foods on your lists?
  • Play the rest of the video lesson for the class at this time. Ask:
    • Based on the MyPlate system, what percentage of our daily diet should be made up of fruits and vegetables? Grains? Protein? Dairy?
    • According to these guidelines, how healthy is your food list?
    • What changes could be made to your diet to meet food group guidelines and increase nutrients?
  • Pass out the worksheet to the class.
  • Have the students work independently to complete the worksheet.
  • When each student has finished the worksheet, review each question and answer with the class as they check their own papers.

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