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Canada’s Food Guide

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Viewing 51 lesson plans

Traditional Foods

  • The Teach Food First traditional food lessons were developed by a creative team from the homelands of the Coast Salish, Nuu-chah-nulth and Kwakwakaw’akw Families (as known as Vancouver Island).
  • Consider reviewing the Foundational Knowledge document “Setting the Table” as a complement to the lesson plans.
  • Consider connecting to your school district’s Indigenous Education team to support further application of BC curriculum’s First Principles of Learning and First Nations Perspective on Health and Wellness in your classroom.
The People I Like to Eat With image

The People I Like to Eat With

Reflects on aspects of meal and snack times that can make them an enjoyable experience, including the people they eat with
Grade Level: K to 2
Traditional First Nations Foods Lesson Plans: Food is a gift (1 of 3) image

Traditional First Nations Foods Lesson Plans: Food is a gift (1 of 3)

Connects students to the gift of food - how the lands, forest and water gifts us our food and has for generations.
Grade Level: K to 2
Traditional First Nations Foods Lesson Plans: Gifts of the Peoples ( 3 of 3) image

Traditional First Nations Foods Lesson Plans: Gifts of the Peoples ( 3 of 3)

Supports students to connect and reflect on the food and land around them, to use culture pyramids to talk about food traditions, and to discuss the impacts of colonization on traditional local food systems.
Grade Level: 6 to 8
Traditional First Nations Foods Lesson Plans: Gifts of the Season ( 2 of 3) image

Traditional First Nations Foods Lesson Plans: Gifts of the Season ( 2 of 3)

Connects students to the season and traditional First Nations foods of the areas where they live.
Grade Level: 3 to 5
Math First People: Teacher Resource Guide image

Math First People: Teacher Resource Guide

Explores Indigenous foods and food practices using math and First Peoples knowledge and perspectives. Mini-units: Hunting - Cultural Practices and Bow Technology pg. 161; Cooking with Fractions pg.168; and Statistics and Salmon pg. 218.
Grade Level: 6 to 8
Memory Game - Traditional Indigenous Foods image

Memory Game - Traditional Indigenous Foods

Create a list of traditional Indigenous foods from your community and play the memory game with a partner
Grade Level: 3 to 5
Science First Peoples: Teacher Resource Guide image

Science First Peoples: Teacher Resource Guide

Unit 1: Traditional ecological knowledge and Unit 2: Plants and the connection to place
Grade Level: 6 to 8
Setting the Table: Traditional First Nation Foods Lesson Plans image

Setting the Table: Traditional First Nation Foods Lesson Plans

Provides teachers with foundational messages, additional resources, and learnings that complement the Traditional First Nations Lesson Plans
Grade Level: All Grades

Cooking Together

  • When possible, support students with building age-appropriate food skills by providing hands-on opportunities to grow, prepare and cook foods. Not all students will have experience with cooking at home and will come to the classroom with different skill levels.
  • With older students, explore activities that build skills in planning meals and snacks, such as brainstorming ideas for after-school snacks or creating a menu for a special meal. Avoid asking students to track and evaluate their own food intake – students’ access to nutritious foods will vary and these activities do not support developing a positive relationship with food.
  • Avoid praising or comparing the foods students include in their planning (or actual lunch or snack), as students often have little control over the foods that are accessible to them. Questions like “Tell me more about the meal or snack you created?” can help to foster exploration and open dialogue. (To learn more: Guiding Principle 2: Consider the specific roles adults and children/students have in feeding and eating).
  • When hands-on food activities are not possible, use activities that have students exploring a variety of foods and where they grow/come from, how we can eat them (e.g., raw, boiled, grilled, microwaved), and how they may be used in favourite foods or recipes.
Creating a Special Event Menu image

Creating a Special Event Menu

Encourages students to reflect on food traditions and special occasions that are meaningful to them
Grade Level: 6 to 8
Exploring Our Drinks image

Exploring Our Drinks

This lesson encourages students to explore their drinks— water, and other beverages —and where they come from.
Grade Level: K to 2
Exploring Where Food Comes From image

Exploring Where Food Comes From

Explores the origin of foods and reflects on how they may be harvested, prepared, or eaten
Grade Level: 3 to 5
Recipe Exploration image

Recipe Exploration

Inquiry-based lesson that supports students with building food literacy by reflecting on food’s physical properties, how it can be prepared and how it’s eaten.
Grade Level: 6 to 8
Making Cheese image

Making Cheese

Explores cheese making process and allows students to put knowledge into action by making cheese
Grade Level: 3 to 5, 6 to 8
Math First Peoples image

Math First Peoples

Explores fractions through story and recipes using First Peoples perspectives and knowledge
Grade Level: 6 to 8
Meals Then and Now image

Meals Then and Now

Explores how meals have changed over two or three generations by interviewing their parents and grandparents
Grade Level: 3 to 5, 6 to 8
Stone Soup image

Stone Soup

Teaches about the importance of community when eating, growing and sharing food and how to prepare a basic nutritious soup
Grade Level: K to 2, 3 to 5
Yogurt Sundaes image

Yogurt Sundaes

Provides students with an opportunity to prepare and share a healthy snack
Grade Level: All Grades

Eating Together

  • Invite student to reflect on the social, emotional and health benefits of eating with others (e.g., Where or how might you eat with others? What do you like about eating with others?).
  • Support opportunities for students to eat together in the school setting, both with their classmates and educators, if possible. Role modeling the enjoyment of eating/eating together supports the development of a positive relationship with food and eating for your students.
  • Ensure that food and nutrition education is inclusive of students in families that do not/are not able to eat together (e.g., single parent households, household members doing shift work) (To learn more: Guiding Principle 3: Connect to students’ lived experiences).
Creating a Special Event Menu image

Creating a Special Event Menu

Encourages students to reflect on food traditions and special occasions that are meaningful to them
Grade Level: 6 to 8
Meals Then and Now image

Meals Then and Now

Explores how meals have changed over two or three generations by interviewing their parents and grandparents
Grade Level: 3 to 5, 6 to 8
Science First Peoples image

Science First Peoples

Explores the idea of place as it relates to First Peoples’ traditional knowledge about plants and how to make tea using local plants
Grade Level: 6 to 8
Stone Soup image

Stone Soup

Teaches about the importance of community when eating, growing and sharing food and how to prepare a basic nutritious soup
Grade Level: K to 2, 3 to 5
Yogurt Sundaes image

Yogurt Sundaes

Provides students with an opportunity to prepare and share a healthy snack
Grade Level: All Grades

Enjoying Food

  • Provide opportunities for students to explore, celebrate and share foods that hold cultural, social or personal significance.
  • Create a classroom where food and nutrition is discussed in a culturally safe and inclusive way. Eating looks different to everyone and students will be coming to the classroom with different food experiences (To learn more: Guiding Principle 1: Take a positive and inclusive approach to food and eating)
  • Provide space for students to explore all foods that are relevant to them, not just those deemed “healthy”. Fostering a positive relationship with food supports mental and social wellness, in addition to physical health.
Creating a Special Event Menu image

Creating a Special Event Menu

Encourages students to reflect on food traditions and special occasions that are meaningful to them
Grade Level: 6 to 8
The People I Like to Eat With image

The People I Like to Eat With

Reflects on aspects of meal and snack times that can make them an enjoyable experience, including the people they eat with
Grade Level: K to 2
Meals Then and Now image

Meals Then and Now

Explores how meals have changed over two or three generations by interviewing their parents and grandparents
Grade Level: 3 to 5, 6 to 8
Mindful Eating image

Mindful Eating

Explores the concept of mindfulness and provides an opportunity to participate in a mindful eating activity
Grade Level: 3 to 5, 6 to 8
Yogurt Sundaes image

Yogurt Sundaes

Provides students with an opportunity to prepare and share a healthy snack
Grade Level: All Grades

Marketing

  • Explore with older students how they can critically analyze food advertisements and media messages and assess how portrayals of body ideals can be harmful.
  • Consider discussion and activities that investigate and evaluate the quality of food and nutrition information. Assist older students with identifying reliable and evidence-based sources of advice (e.g., Is it from a credible source? Is it trying to get you to buy something? Does it sound too good to be true? Does it offer “one type of eating fits all” advice?
Recipe Exploration image

Recipe Exploration

Inquiry-based lesson that supports students with building food literacy by reflecting on food’s physical properties, how it can be prepared and how it’s eaten.
Grade Level: 6 to 8
Looking at Food Advertising image

Looking at Food Advertising

Introduces students to the ways in which advertising can affect their food choices
Grade Level: 6 to 8
Looks Good Enough to Eat image

Looks Good Enough to Eat

Looks at the different food photography techniques used to make foods appealing in advertisements
Grade Level: 6 to 8

Mindful Eating

  • Provide opportunities for students to experience the aromas, textures, flavours and tastes of their foods. Have students describe foods using their senses – what they look, smell, feel and taste like—to connect to the eating experience. Encourage students to say “yes please” or “no thank you” instead of negative comments such as “yuck” or “gross”.
  • Allow students to listen and trust their internal body cues to guide how much to eat, rather than relying on external cues (e.g., portion size). Not commenting on how much students may eat or the order in which they eat their food can help them feel more relaxed at meal or snack times and can lead to better eating outcomes in the long run. To learn more: Guiding Principle 2: Consider the specific roles adults and children/students have in feeding and eating.
  • Advocate as needed to ensure students are provided enough time to eat. Provide a safe and positive eating environment where students can sit down to eat with their classmates.
Exploring Where Food Comes From image

Exploring Where Food Comes From

Explores the origin of foods and reflects on how they may be harvested, prepared, or eaten
Grade Level: 3 to 5
The People I Like to Eat With image

The People I Like to Eat With

Reflects on aspects of meal and snack times that can make them an enjoyable experience, including the people they eat with
Grade Level: K to 2
Case Studies image

Case Studies

Examines personal and external factors that influence people's food and beverages choices.
Grade Level: 6 to 8
Herbilicious Poetry image

Herbilicious Poetry

Explores herbs using the senses, poetry, and hands-on food activities.
Grade Level: 3 to 5, 6 to 8
Mindful Eating Lesson Plan image

Mindful Eating Lesson Plan

Introduces the concept of mindfulness using hands-on activities and encourages students to reflect on barriers and ideas to support mindful eating at school.
Grade Level: 6 to 8

More Than Food

  • Where, when, why, how and who you eat with are also important parts of eating. Recognize that food contributes to students’ social and mental wellness, in addition to physical health.
  • Food can have great personal meaning to students and is more than just the nutrients it provides. Explore with students the influence family, culture and tradition have on the foods they eat and enjoy. Remember to be positive and inclusive as students may experience different circumstances, many of which are out of their control (To learn more: Guiding Principle 1: Take a positive and inclusive approach to food and eating).
Creating a Special Event Menu image

Creating a Special Event Menu

Encourages students to reflect on food traditions and special occasions that are meaningful to them
Grade Level: 6 to 8
Exploring Our Drinks image

Exploring Our Drinks

This lesson encourages students to explore their drinks— water, and other beverages —and where they come from.
Grade Level: K to 2
Exploring Where Food Comes From image

Exploring Where Food Comes From

Explores the origin of foods and reflects on how they may be harvested, prepared, or eaten
Grade Level: 3 to 5
Exploring the Role of Water image

Exploring the Role of Water

This lesson activity encourages students to explore the importance of water for all living things, and to reflect on the role water plays in our food system.
Grade Level: 3 to 5
Recipe Exploration image

Recipe Exploration

Inquiry-based lesson that supports students with building food literacy by reflecting on food’s physical properties, how it can be prepared and how it’s eaten.
Grade Level: 6 to 8
The People I Like to Eat With image

The People I Like to Eat With

Reflects on aspects of meal and snack times that can make them an enjoyable experience, including the people they eat with
Grade Level: K to 2
Water in the Media image

Water in the Media

This lesson examines media influences on drinking beverages, and how students can use the information they learn to educate their peers about the importance of hydration.
Grade Level: 6 to 8
Case Studies image

Case Studies

Examines personal and external factors that influence people's food and beverages choices.
Grade Level: 6 to 8
Math First People: Teacher Resource Guide image

Math First People: Teacher Resource Guide

Explores Indigenous foods and food practices using math and First Peoples knowledge and perspectives. Mini-units: Hunting - Cultural Practices and Bow Technology pg. 161; Cooking with Fractions pg.168; and Statistics and Salmon pg. 218.
Grade Level: 6 to 8
Meals Then and Now image

Meals Then and Now

Explores how meals have changed over two or three generations by interviewing their parents and grandparents
Grade Level: 3 to 5, 6 to 8
Science First Peoples: Teacher Resource Guide image

Science First Peoples: Teacher Resource Guide

Unit 1: Traditional ecological knowledge and Unit 2: Plants and the connection to place
Grade Level: 6 to 8

Protein Foods

  • Provide students with opportunities to explore and become more familiar with foods found in the protein foods grouping (e.g., fish, eggs, beans, peas, lentils, meats, nuts and seeds, dairy products and tofu). Focus on food exploration, rather than teaching students about protein as a nutrient or what it does in the body. To learn more: Tips for teaching and talking to students about food and nutrition.)
  • Canada’s food guide encourages eating more foods that come from plants. Help students become more familiar with plant-based foods in the protein food grouping without emphasizing or judging individual food choices. (To learn more: FAQ: Canada’s food guide promotes eating more plant-based foods. Does this mean we shouldn’t eat animal-based foods?)
  • If teaching about nutrients to older students, apply the guiding principles and neutrally discuss nutrient roles in the body, connecting them to foods and their groupings (e.g., proteins are the main building blocks of every cell in the body; and can be found in meats such as beef, chicken, deer; and in fish, shellfish, eggs, milk and soy beverage, legumes, tofu, nuts and seeds).
BC at the Table: Dairy image

BC at the Table: Dairy

Supports learning about BC's local food and food systems, following the story of dairy.
Grade Level: 6 to 8
BC at the Table: Salmon image

BC at the Table: Salmon

Supports learning about BC's local food and food systems, following the story of salmon.
Grade Level: 6 to 8
Food Explorers: Beans image

Food Explorers: Beans

Provides inquiry-based activities to describe and explore beans using the senses, and by reading stories and journalling.
Grade Level: K to 2
Food Explorers: Cheese image

Food Explorers: Cheese

Provides inquiry-based activities to describe and explore cheese using the senses, and by reading stories and journalling.
Grade Level: K to 2
Math First People: Teacher Resource Guide image

Math First People: Teacher Resource Guide

Explores Indigenous foods and food practices using math and First Peoples knowledge and perspectives. Mini-units: Hunting - Cultural Practices and Bow Technology pg. 161; Cooking with Fractions pg.168; and Statistics and Salmon pg. 218.
Grade Level: 6 to 8
Science First Peoples: Teacher Resource Guide image

Science First Peoples: Teacher Resource Guide

Unit 1: Traditional ecological knowledge and Unit 2: Plants and the connection to place
Grade Level: 6 to 8
Virtual scavenger hunt Through BC’s Agriculture Commodities image

Virtual scavenger hunt Through BC’s Agriculture Commodities

This virtual scavenger hunt lesson plan will help students learn about BC's agriculture commodities and the Agriculture Land Reserve through the online interactive Grow BC GIS map.
Grade Level: 6 to 8

Variety

Creating a Special Event Menu image

Creating a Special Event Menu

Encourages students to reflect on food traditions and special occasions that are meaningful to them
Grade Level: 6 to 8
Exploring Where Food Comes From image

Exploring Where Food Comes From

Explores the origin of foods and reflects on how they may be harvested, prepared, or eaten
Grade Level: 3 to 5
Recipe Exploration image

Recipe Exploration

Inquiry-based lesson that supports students with building food literacy by reflecting on food’s physical properties, how it can be prepared and how it’s eaten.
Grade Level: 6 to 8
BC At the Table image

BC At the Table

Provides an introduction to student inquiry about BC's food system and how we produce, process, distribute, and acquire local food
Grade Level: 6 to 8
Food Explorers image

Food Explorers

Explore apples, beans, cereal and cheese
Grade Level: K to 2
Little Riddles image

Little Riddles

In this lesson, students will explore food and develop language arts skills by creating and sharing riddles.
Grade Level: K to 2
Memory Game - Traditional Indigenous Foods image

Memory Game - Traditional Indigenous Foods

Create a list of traditional Indigenous foods from your community and play the memory game with a partner
Grade Level: 3 to 5
What am I? Food Literacy Activity image

What am I? Food Literacy Activity

An inquiry-based food activity that supports students with building food literacy skills by reflecting on food's physical properties, where it comes from, and how it's prepared and eaten.
Grade Level: K to 2, 3 to 5

Vegetables and fruits

  • Provide opportunities for students to explore and experience vegetables and fruit through a variety of activities – this could include reading a book, learning about where or how they are grown, or a pressure-free tasting opportunity.
  • If possible, aim to offer hands-on experiences with growing, harvesting and preparing vegetables and fruits so that students can build their food skills.
  • Explore all forms of vegetables and fruits with your students including fresh, frozen, canned, and dried. (To learn more: FAQ Is Canada’s food guide affordable for students and their families?
  • If teaching about nutrients to older students, apply the guiding principles and neutrally discuss nutrient roles in the body, connecting them to foods and their groupings (e.g., fibre aids in digestion and can be found in vegetables and fruit).
Alex's First Seed image

Alex's First Seed

An electronic book that explores seeds, compost and fertilizer
Grade Level: K to 2, 3 to 5
BC Agriculture in the Classroom Fresh Stories: Vegetables and Fruit image

BC Agriculture in the Classroom Fresh Stories: Vegetables and Fruit

Fresh Stories provide fun educational activities for educators to teach students about fresh vegetables and fruits
Grade Level: All Grades
BC at the Table: Produce image

BC at the Table: Produce

BC At The Table is intended to show how food is produced, processed, distributed and accessed in BC and inspire students to buy BC foods and support local farmers. It consists of four video segments that can be watched separately in shorter classroom sessions or together in one longer session.
Grade Level: 6 to 8
Blossom's Big Job - Book image

Blossom's Big Job - Book

An electronic book about bees and pollination with an accompanying workbook
Grade Level: K to 2
Blossom's Big Job - Lesson Plan image

Blossom's Big Job - Lesson Plan

Blossom's Big Job Lesson Plan
Grade Level: K to 2
Edible Parts of  Plant - Poster image

Edible Parts of Plant - Poster

Edible parts of a plant poster
Grade Level: 3 to 5
Edible Parts of  Plant - Video image

Edible Parts of Plant - Video

A video by a registered dietitian describing the edible parts of a plant. Accompanying poster and worksheet
Grade Level: 3 to 5
Edible Parts of  Plant - Worksheet image

Edible Parts of Plant - Worksheet

Edible parts of a plant worksheet
Grade Level: 3 to 5
Farm to School BC Crop Planning Guide image

Farm to School BC Crop Planning Guide

Looking for a guide to help you plan your school garden? Farm to School BC has developed a crop planning guide for school gardens that shifts traditional planting times to align with the school year
Grade Level: K to 2
Fortune Teller image

Fortune Teller

School Children's game that shares fun facts about agriculture.
Grade Level: 3 to 5
Picture Perfect Potatoes image

Picture Perfect Potatoes

A Spuds in Tubs program unit for middle school students using a project-based learning approach
Grade Level: 6 to 8
Science First Peoples: Teacher Resource Guide image

Science First Peoples: Teacher Resource Guide

Unit 1: Traditional ecological knowledge and Unit 2: Plants and the connection to place
Grade Level: 6 to 8
Virtual scavenger hunt Through BC’s Agriculture Commodities image

Virtual scavenger hunt Through BC’s Agriculture Commodities

This virtual scavenger hunt lesson plan will help students learn about BC's agriculture commodities and the Agriculture Land Reserve through the online interactive Grow BC GIS map.
Grade Level: 6 to 8

Water and Other Beverages

  • Focus on exploration of water and other nutrient-rich beverages through a variety of activities. For example, learning about water sources, how water is used in food and eating, exploring where beverages come from/how they are made.
  • Canada’s food guide promotes water as the drink of choice but also recommends other beverages (milk, fortified soy beverages) as nutrient-rich options. Include a variety of beverage options in your teaching. (Refer to FAQ: Is milk still a part of Canada's food guide?)
  • No one food or beverage alone is unhealthy. Having sugary drinks such as pop once in a while won’t affect overall health. However, when they replace other nutritious foods often, it can increase the risk of health problems over time.  School can support students by providing water and other nutrient-rich beverages, teaching older students to critically analyze how beverages are advertised, as well as restricting marketing of sugary drinks in the school setting.
  • If talking about sugary drinks, aim to refer to them neutrally. We may offer sugary drinks in smaller amounts, but they can still be described as "soda drinks", instead of as “bad”, “junk” or "treat".  These labels can increase students' interest in sugary drinks and do not help them become more familiar with drinks lower in added sugar. To learn more: Is Sugar Unhealthy for Children? (VCH)
  • Recognize that not all students will have access to safe and affordable drinking water (or nutrient-rich beverages) and other beverage options may be more accessible for your students. (To learn more: Guiding Principle 1: Take a positive and inclusive approach to food and eating)
Exploring Our Drinks image

Exploring Our Drinks

This lesson encourages students to explore their drinks— water, and other beverages —and where they come from.
Grade Level: K to 2
Exploring Where Food Comes From image

Exploring Where Food Comes From

Explores the origin of foods and reflects on how they may be harvested, prepared, or eaten
Grade Level: 3 to 5
Exploring the Role of Water image

Exploring the Role of Water

This lesson activity encourages students to explore the importance of water for all living things, and to reflect on the role water plays in our food system.
Grade Level: 3 to 5
Water in the Media image

Water in the Media

This lesson examines media influences on drinking beverages, and how students can use the information they learn to educate their peers about the importance of hydration.
Grade Level: 6 to 8
Math First Peoples image

Math First Peoples

Mini-Unit: Water-Keepers I and Mini-Unit: Water-Keepers II
Grade Level: 6 to 8
Science First Peoples image

Science First Peoples

Unit 8: Ocean Connections
Grade Level: 6 to 8

Whole Grain Foods

  • Provide opportunities for students to explore and become more familiar with different types of whole grain foods (e.g., brown or wild rice, oats, bulgur, whole grain pasta, whole grain breads).
  • Focus on food exploration (e.g., where these foods come from and how they are prepared and eaten) and sensory aspects of whole grains (e.g., flavour, texture) instead of health benefits of whole grains. To learn more: Teaching and talking to students about food and nutrition.)
  • If teaching about nutrients to older students, apply the guiding principles and neutrally discuss nutrient roles in the body, connecting them to foods and their groupings (e.g., fibre aids in digestion and can be found in whole grains).
Exploring Where Food Comes From image

Exploring Where Food Comes From

Explores the origin of foods and reflects on how they may be harvested, prepared, or eaten
Grade Level: 3 to 5
BC at the Table: Grains image

BC at the Table: Grains

BC At The Table is intended to show how food is produced, processed, distributed and accessed in BC and inspire students to buy BC foods and support local farmers. It consists of four video segments that can be watched separately in shorter classroom sessions or together in one longer session.
Grade Level: 6 to 8
Food Explorers image

Food Explorers

Step by Step: Learn about and taste new foods - cereals
Grade Level: K to 2
Math First Peoples image

Math First Peoples

Mini-Unit: Cooking with Fractions
Grade Level: 6 to 8
Virtual scavenger hunt Through BC’s Agriculture Commodities image

Virtual scavenger hunt Through BC’s Agriculture Commodities

This virtual scavenger hunt lesson plan will help students learn about BC's agriculture commodities and the Agriculture Land Reserve through the online interactive Grow BC GIS map.
Grade Level: 6 to 8