Healthy Helpings MyPlate Group Activity

Healthy Helpings MyPlate Group Activity

Brandy and Monica co-facilitators of the Health Partners program hold up the MyPlate mat for a food matching game
Brandy and Monica, co-facilitators of the Health Partners project, hold up the ChooseMyPlate mat for a food matching game

Resources Needed: large MyPlate diagram, pictures of food (cut outs from magazines or grocery store ads), tape and/or glue

Certain settings or time constraints will make a group MyPlate activity more appropriate than an individual activity, where each person makes their own MyPlate.

Start by making a large MyPlate diagram out of poster board or construction paper. Before the class meeting, cut out different pictures of a variety of food from magazines or grocery store ads. At the start of class, hang the large MyPlate diagram in a central location in the room that will be easily accessible to everyone. Participants are given a handful of different food cut outs. Participants can then choose which of the food items they like. Participants take turns taping or gluing the pictures to the MyPlate diagram, placing the pictures in the correct food group category. This can be a great way to facilitate discussion on food groups, reinforcing nutrition knowledge, as well as help to develop social skills within the group.

In addition to using pictures of food items, plastic food models used for children’s cooking toys are another feasible option that offer a different visual and textural experience with the activity.

You can also make the game a race by dividing the group into teams and have food items drawn out of a bag. The team to identify the food group and place it on the mat first gets a point! You can even mix up the food options with exercise activities like 10 toe touch stretches or 10 jumping jacks so when those cards are pulled EVERYONE has to do the activity. This is a great way to have fun and involve teamwork.

Alternatively, you can purchase a large MyPlate mat complete with food and activity cards here.