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Spring Food Fun for Kids with MyPlate’s Food Groups

Posted by Alexandra Day, Public Affairs Special Projects Coordinator, Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion in Food and Nutrition
Apr 11, 2017
Plate that looks like a strawberry flower with a glass of milk
Make food fun by creating a spring-inspired snack for kids!

Spring is here! Whether you’re looking for a fun activity to do with kids while they’re home for Spring Break or hunting for afterschool activities for kiddos, MyPlate has you covered. Get kids excited about healthy eating with this easy kid-friendly activity that incorporates all five of the MyPlate food groups -- Fruits, Vegetables, Protein Foods, Dairy, and Grains!

STEP 1: Collect your supplies

Kids are more likely to enjoy healthy foods if they have a hand in making them, so be sure to get kids involved every step of the way. Take a field trip to a local farmers market to gather your supplies. You can even sneak in a little geography lesson by encouraging kids to focus on foods grown in your state. Bonus points if you can incorporate foods from your own garden!

For our spring scene, we used cucumbers, carrots, fresh strawberries, navel oranges, low-fat cheese sticks, air-popped popcorn, and sunflower seeds. Feel free to incorporate some foods you have at home to personalize your spring scene. You’ll also need a cutting board, a knife for cutting up fruits and veggies, and a plate for your canvas. Remember to wash your hands and produce before you start chopping!

STEP 2: Chop up your fruits and veggies

Grab your cutting board and paring knife. To create blades of grass, we sliced a cucumber and halved the slices. Our sun is a slice of orange, and the flower buds and petals are made from sliced strawberries. We also sliced a carrot and cut the slices into quarters to create sunrays.

STEP 3: Create your spring scene

Now it’s time to get creative – grab a plate and have the kids design their own spring scene! Want to show a little spring shower? After all, April showers do bring May flowers! Form clouds with popcorn and turn sunflower seeds into rain drops.

Create flowers using cheese sticks (or celery sticks!) for stems, and additional cucumber slices as leaves. You can make the flower buds and petals out of any number of tasty fruits or vegetables. Not a fan of strawberries? Slice up an orange, peach, or red bell pepper.

Want to enjoy a sunny day instead? One option is to make a sun out of an orange slice and use slices of carrot, quartered, for rays of sunlight.

STEP 4: Enjoy your tasty treat

The best part of this activity is getting to eat it at the end! This tasty snack can include all five food groups and provides a hands-on demonstration with foods that fit a healthy eating style. Kids can try new foods – and might discover some new favorites!

Check the MyPlate Facebook and Pinterest pages throughout April for additional ideas for spring food fun. You can find other spring resources and more activities to do with kids on ChooseMyPlate.gov.

Plate with vegetables and other foods placed around on a table
Make a yummy snack from Fruits, Vegetables, Protein Foods, Dairy, and Grains!
Category/Topic: Food and Nutrition

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Comments

patricia j becker RDN
Apr 12, 2017

pediatric nutrition specialist: i LOVE this

Lettoya Soler
Apr 12, 2017

"Kids are more likely to enjoy healthy foods if they have a hand in making them" ... this is absolutely correct and experience has shown me this over, and over. Kids take pride in what they do for themselves and their family too.

Sheila Moore
Apr 18, 2017

I love your recipes, but wish they were offered in Spanish as well.

Joni Brooks RN
Apr 25, 2017

This is awesome!!!

Ramesh Gupta
May 01, 2017

We try to eat vegetables as a routine.

Ramesh Gupta
May 01, 2017

We try to eat vegetables as a routine.

Scarlett Sampsell
May 21, 2017

Lovely!

Sheila Adams
Apr 05, 2018

This is adorable. We send fruits and veggies over to the elementary school daily. I am going to have to plate up 10 of these to show teachers how to do this and then send enough produce so the students can make their own. thanks for the idea. Great job

Kristy Sloan
Apr 05, 2018

The info and suggestions from this site are very interesting and educational. The suggestions are very much appreciated! It gives much help, it makes
it fun along with so simple and easy to accomplish all these ideas!

Louis Young
Apr 06, 2018

thanks for all the health tips.