Nutritious Art Activities For Young Children
Arts and crafts activities are a great way for young children to reinforce the ideas they have learned as well as creatively explore new concepts. Art time is very enjoyable to most children, especially toddlers and preschoolers. An art activity by itself can open a number of teaching opportunities on a variety of topics. These yummy projects can be part of a lesson on nutrition or as fun activities that initiate discussions on healthy eating and good nutrition. My Own Food Pyramid On a large piece of poster board, draw a large triangle and divide it into a standard food pyramid with all five food groups and the fats and sweets portion. Label each section with the food group name as well as the recommended number of daily servings.
Let your child cut or tear pictures of food from magazines and sales papers or use food stickers. Glue the food pictures into the correct groups. You can use real food to make art projects too! Some are safe to eat, while others are just to look at. Cereal Necklace String round cereal like Cheerios or Fruit Loops onto a piece of yarn. This activity is great for building fine motor skills in toddlers and can also serve as a fun and healthy snack! Spaghetti is Good for Me Dip cotton balls into brown paint and dry on wax paper while you cook, drain, and cool spaghetti noodles.
Glue the cooled noodles onto a Styrofoam plate. Paint sauce on the spaghetti with red paint. When the paint dries, glue on the cotton meatballs. Do not eat this project and throw it out after 2 to 3 days to prevent mold. Fruit and Veggie Painting Slice a variety of fruits and vegetables into chunks and thick circles. Potatoes, apples, carrots, and radishes are good for this project. Get creative and include celery pieces and various shaped pepper pieces. Prepare paper on a child sized art easel. Dip the veggie pieces into paint and stamp them onto the paper. Bugs on a Log Spread a celery stalk with peanut butter and top with raisins for a healthy afternoon snack.
Colorful Toast Mix a small amount of milk with food coloring and let your child paint a piece of bread with a small brush, taking care not to get the bread too wet. Toast the bread, top with butter, and let your little one enjoy her masterpiece. There are also lots of fun food crafts you and your child can make from paper and other simple art supplies that encourage nutrition education. My Favorite Pizza Paint a paper plate red and let it dry. Provide your child with a selection of pizza toppings like yellow yarn pieces for cheese, red circles for pepperoni, small brown pom-poms for sausage, and green paper strips for green pepper. Spread glue over the plate and let your child glue on her favorite toppings. You may even sprinkle with oregano for a realistic smell. A Healthy Breakfast Cut apart an egg container and make bacon and toast out of brown construction paper. Provide you child with dry cereal as well and glue her glue the components of a healthy breakfast onto a paper plate. Glue the egg container sections on for eggs and consider a paper cup with orange or white construction paper in it for juice or milk.
Glue on the bacon, toast, and cereal as well.