Eating Healthy Foods for a Healthy Lifestyle

In this Remarkable Idea, students will learn about food groups, empty calories, and some yummy healthy snacks.

Note: Always be aware of allergies before serving food to your students

This activity addresses:

  • Health
  • Cause and effect
  • Critical thinking
  • Alternative methods of access

What you need:

Smoothie Ingredients

  • Juice (100% fruit, no added sugar)
  • Plain Greek yogurt (no added sugar, and the main ingredients should be milk and live active cultures)
  • Vegetable (Kale or spinach work well)


1. Write each of the five food groups (Vegetables, Fruits, Grains, Dairy, Protein) on the All-Turn-It Spinner overlay.
2. Record at least 2 examples of each food group to the Step-by-Step. (example: Cereal, toast, strawberries, blueberries, celery, broccoli, chicken, nuts, yogurt, milk).
3. Create overlays using the AbleNet Symbol Overlay Maker app.

What to do:

Discuss the five major food groups using the real life examples (ex: toy fruits and vegetables, canned fruits and vegetables, cereal boxes, pictures of a gallon of milk, yogurt, etc.). These should be familiar items for your students.

Ask students for examples of each food groups. Use the Step-by-Step so all students can participate in the discussion.

Hands On
Using the All-Turn-It Spinner and Jelly Bean switch, have students take turns spinning and giving examples from the group you land on.

Use the materials you collected for your discussion or have students use the Step-by-Step.

Expanded Discussion
Some students may have given examples of foods earlier in the lesson that do not fit into the five major categories. Discuss fats and oils, as well as empty calories with them.

Putting this knowledge into practice
Give examples of some healthy snacks that your students could try at home then make smoothies with them.

As you add each item to the blender, ask the class which food group that item belongs to. Use the PowerLink 4 to operate the blender.

½-cup yogurt
1-cup fruit
¼-cup juice
½-cup vegetable

Discuss which food groups are missing. (This discussion could be tricky because the yogurt could fit the criteria for two food groups.)



Empty calories are foods that don’t provide our bodies with very many nutrients. Some examples of things we might eat or drink that are empty calories are (Soda, candy, cookies, cake, etc.)


Fats & oils
Empty calories

Additional suggestions:

Additional healthy snacks you could use instead of the smoothies:
Peanut butter and apples
Low-fat cheese and salt-free pretzel sticks (push the pretzel sticks into cubes of cheese like toothpicks and serve as an Hors D’oeuvre)
Ants on a log (Celery sticks with peanut butter spread inside, topped with raisins)

An alternative for the intro activity would be to record the five food groups to TalkingBrix and have students attempt to place the correct TalkingBrix with each food example. You could add a level of difficulty by not telling them which ones are right or wrong and simply telling them they have __ out of 5 correct, they then try to fix their mistakes.

More information, as well as diet plans for people of all shapes and sizes can be found at