I recently just completed an observation and teaching experience at one of the elementary schools in Dover. At the end of my 8 weeks there, I had the opportunity to teach a kindergarten and a third grade class. Luckily for me, I started their nutrition unit. I was able to, for the most part, come up with any nutrition lesson I wanted; it did of course have to be presented to and approved by the health teacher in advance. My classmate and I decided to introduce the kindergarteners to a new concept put out by The National Institute of Health for separating healthier and less healthy options into three categories: Go foods, Slow foods, and Whoa foods.
Go Foods are foods that are beneficial to eat almost anytime. These foods include fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains, low-fat and fat-free dairy options, and lean protein.
Slow Foods are foods that should be eaten sometime, at most several times per week. Slow foods include higher calorie and higher fat foods, such as dried fruit or fruit canned in light syrup, 100% fruit juice, veggies in sauce, 2% milk, chicken with skin, and more.
Whoa Foods are foods that should only be eaten once in a while or for a special treat. These foods are often highly processed and are typically high in sugar, saturated fat, and/or cholesterol. Some examples of Whoa foods include fried foods, cakes, cookies, pastries, whole milk, canned fruit in heavy syrup, and soda.
It is also important to keep portion sizes in mind. Not all Go foods can be consumed in unlimited amounts.
I think this is a really good learning tool for kids and even a guide for parents. I will admit that when teaching it to kindergarten students, it was hard for some of them to distinguish the difference between what they may be eating often at home, for some chicken nuggets and french fries are staples in their diet, and what they should be eating regularly. Which is even more incentive for me to be sharing this with you.
I only gave a few of the examples of the foods in each group above, for a more detailed list check out this chart by the National Institute of Health.