The new food pyramid focuses on fruits and vegetables. The recommendation is to make sure half of your daily intake is from fruits and vegetables. I know from experience that getting a toddler to eat that many fruits and vegetables is very difficult but if toddlers see them many times and in lots of different kinds of activities, they might be more likely to eat them. Here are several ideas for food pyramid art activities.
1. Food pyramid collage: Cut out big pictures from magazines and cut them out. Your toddler can assist you with the cutting if able. Have your toddler decorate a big pyramid on poster paper.
2. Family picture collage: Take pictures of your child and other family members eating healthy foods - fresh fruits, vegetables, lean meats and whole grains. Then print them, cut them out and have your child glue them on colored paper. At the top write the words, "Me and my family eating healthy foods. "
3. Family picture book: Another idea with the same pictures above is to have your child make a book. The pages are, for example: Daddy eats apples, Mommy eats tomatoes, Justin eats plums, Grandma eats avocados, Grandpa eats papaya, and so forth. Kids love books with real pictures of their families in them. 4. Paint BIG pictures of healthy foods - Draw big pictures of healthy foods such as apples, oranges, carrots, lettuce. Then have your toddler paint them with washable poster paint or real paint. If you want to you can cut out the picture and glue it on another sheet of paper.
5. Several ideas using Google Images: Go online to Google Images and print out big (approximately 3 inches by 3 inches) pictures. There are a lot of different projects but here are some ideas:
a. Print out 5 red apples, 5 green apples and 5 yellow apples. Put them in a pile. Have your toddler sort them by color and glue them on big paper.
b. Print out 3 each of several different healthy foods. Have your child make ab patterns with them and glue them on paper. For example: carrot, milk, carrot, milk, carrot, milk, carrot, milk
c. Print out several different foods from each food group. On paper plates have your child make up meals from each group that he would like to eat. Then fix those meals from him. Better yet, have him help you shop for and cook those meals.
d. Print out several different healthy toppings for salads. On a piece of paper, draw a big salad. Have your toddler color it with green crayons or markers. Have your toddler add the healthy toppings to the salad and glue them in place.
e. Print out pictures from the internet and have your child make a picture book. Fold paper into a book. Glue the pictures and write the word for the picture underneath.
6. Fruit/vegetable Prints: Make prints from different types of fruits and vegetables - apples, oranges, potatoes, carrots, peppers, etc.
The possibilities for Food Pyramid art projects are endless. You just need a little imagination.
Kristin Whiting is a Mom and Special Needs teacher. She enjoys coming up with creative and fun ways to teach children. Go to http://www.myspecialneedsclassroom.com and check out some more ideas.