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Recipe for Life

Healthy Eating

Learning Module


Kindergarten - year 2 students learn about healthy food, factors that contribute to a healthy lifestyle and social skills. Students also read and write a range of narratives and procedural texts.


Health, Food, Recipes, Cooking, Social Skills, Cooperation, Narratives, Procedures

Knowledge Objectives

Australian Curriculum

Health and Physical Education

Foundation Year Content Descriptions

Contributing to healthy and active communities

Identify actions that promote health, safety and wellbeing (ACPPS006)

Participate in play that promotes engagement with outdoor settings and the natural environment (ACPPS007)


1. What’s Good and What’s Bad for You?

For the Student

1. Food Diary

We will be keeping a diary of the foods we eat each day. You can use a small exercise book.

Create a picture of your favourite dinner or snack. Talk about it with someone else and then with the whole class.

Discuss the foods talked about and whether you should be eaten a little or a lot.

Activity 2: Six hats Thinking about Food

White Hat:

What do you know about healthy food and choices?

Red Hat:

How do healthy food choices make you feel?

Yellow Hat:

What is good about healthy food?

Black Hat:

What is bad about healthy food?

Green Hat:

What can we do to make healthy food more enjoyable or better?

Fig. 1: Is pizza your favourite snack?

For the Teacher

1. Healthy/unhealthy food

As a part of the unit, an ongoing daily student diary will be completed. After lunch each day the children will write and draw what they have eaten for lunch.

Student use magazines or draw their favourite dinner OR snack. Students share their favourite foods in a Think–Pair–Share, then a whole class sharing. Prepare two charts with the title “Lots of” on one and “Little of” on the other.

2. Using De Bono’s six thinking hats brainstorm healthy food choices. This will enable students to consider different perspectives.

2. The King's cake

For the Student

What do you think the story will be about?

Listen to the story?

What do you think of the king’s cake?

What is your favourite cake?

How could you describe it? What does it look like and taste like?

Fig. 3: The King's Cake

For the Teacher

Healthy/unhealthy food

Read The King’s Cake Big Book (Rigby). Do a book orientation. Ask the children to describe what the cake looks like and what makes this cake look nice, e.g. colourful icing, lovely decorations etc. As a class make a chart of the children’s describing words for their cakes.

3. What’s Good and What’s Bad for You?

For the Student

1. Talk about what made the King’s cake healthy/non-healthy.

When you eat cakes, is it for dinner or a snack?

Can a cake be healthy?

What healthy snacks do you know of?

Write about or draw healthy snacks in your book.


Look at The King's Cake again. Let's make a list of all the words that are used to describe the cake.

Now use the words to describe your favourite foods. 

Which words rhyme? How do you know?

Fig. 4: Apple pie - yum!

For the Teacher

Healthy/unhealthy food

Discuss The Kings Cake. Was the King’s cake healthy. Ask the question is a cake a snack? Discuss what is meant be a healthy snack. In a Think – Pair – Share children share what are healthy and non-healthy snack foods. They then share their ideas with the class. Brainstorm a list of healthy snack foods that could be eaten at school.

2. After the brainstorm there could be an opportunity to do some codebreaking by identifying some of the key words and sounds used to describe the king’s cake and using them to describe the healthy snacks the children identify.

Use some guided reading strategies to explore language features such as rhyme in the text. Identifying common sounds in rhyming words is very useful to develop phonemic awareness.

4. What’s Good and What’s Bad for You?

For the Student

1.Sort out the pictures into healthy and unhealthy snacks. Draw and write about another healthy snack you know about.

Play the game and find out all the favourite food of the children in your class.

The aim of the game is to see who can write everyone’s favourite food in the shortest amount of time. The game stops when the first student has all the other children’s favourite foods written down.

Fig. 6: More and less rather than yes and no.

For the Teacher

Find images of healthy and unhealthy snacks. Use magazines or the SMARTBoard. The students can sort them into what they consider healthy or unhealthy snacks. Next ask students to draw other healthy foods and write about them. Scaffold the writing by drawing children’s attention to the describing words in the codebreaking activity.

The Australian Guide to Healthy Eating

Fantastic Food Big Book by Heather Hammonds (available at The Book Garden  can be used as well to complement this activity.

Warm up activity: This game requires having a page with your students’ names on it and a copy for every member in the class. The aim of the game is to see who can write everyone’s favourite food in the shortest amount of time. The game stops when the first student has all the other children’s favourite foods written down.

5. Food Choices

For the Student

Find the matching pieces to your part of the circle?

Who has seen The Australian Guide to Healthy Eating before?

What do you think it could be used for?

Fig. 8: The Australian Guide to Healthy Eating

For the Teacher

The Australian Guide to Healthy Eating

Cut up the five sections of the circle of 4-5 copies of the poster of The Australian Guide to Healthy Eating. Give each child one of the sections and then ask them to match their section with the other four sections by finding the children with the other sections. Then show the children the poster on the SMARTBoard. Discuss what the students what they think the poster could be used for. Use Think-Pair-Shares to scaffold the discussion.

6. Australian Guide to Healthy Eating

For the Student

What foods are in the circle?

What foods are outside the circle? Why?

Which foods are most important to eat? Why?

Why are some sections bigger than others?

Why are some smaller?

What is a variety?

Why should we eat a variety of foods?

For the Teacher

The Australian Guide to Healthy eating

In a Think-Pair-Share children discuss with their partner why there are five sections in the circle and why they are different sizes. Come back as a class and share their ideas. Depending on the children’s understandings, explain explicitly what the sections of the circle are. Explain to the children how there are some foods we should eat a lot of and some a little of. Refer to the bottom corner of foods to eat sometimes or in small amounts. Use Think-Pair-Shares to scaffold students’ discussions.

The Australian Guide to Healthy eating

Children use a photocopy of the poster (in black and white) to circle or colour foods they like in one colour. Then they can use another colour to circle of colour the foods they think are good for them.

7. Cause and Effect

For the Student

For the Teacher

The Australian Guide to Healthy eating

Use some cause and effect diagrams to analyse the effects of eating a good balance of each of the food groups. On one side students draw examples (you can also use images from clip art where there are hundreds of images of foods). On the other side the children can draw or include a photo of a healthy child – it could be a drawing or photo of themselves after they have had a healthy lunch which included the foods from one of the four groups!

8. Analysing a Poster

For the Student

Look at some posters.

What is the layout?

What colours are used?

What is the slogan?

Why did the designer use different text sizes?

What makes a good poster?

For the Teacher

The Australian Guide to Healthy eating

Talk about what things catch children's eyes or draw their attention when they see a poster. Explain to students what design elements are important in a poster. For example: Layout, colours and the slogan. Using the The Australian Guide to Healthy Eating poster and a similar one promoting healthy food. Label these design elements on the posters. Display the posters for students to refer to when they are designing their own posters. You could also reinforce this by labelling a poster on the SMARTBoard.

9. Creating a Poster

For the Student

Work with a partner to design your own poster about eating healthy snack foods.

Look at the class poster which we labelled together. Have you included all the important things that should be included in a poster?

For the Teacher

The Australian Guide to Healthy Eating

Children can work in pairs and design a healthy snack food poster to display in the school foyer.

Encourage students to reflect on whether they have included all the features identified in the previous activity.

10. Let's Exercise

For the Student

What else can you do to have a health lifestyle?

Have a go at some fitness activities.

Turn off your computer or TV in the afternoon and play.

For the Teacher

The Australian Guide to Healthy Eating

Make direct links to gaining a healthy lifestyle through physical activities during PE and sport.

11. Don't Forget the Bacon

For the Student

What was the boy supposed to get from the shops?

Where have you seen a list like this before?

For the Teacher


Read the book Don’t forget the bacon by Pat Hutchins (Mulberry Big Books) to the children. Make a class list of the things the boy was supposed to remember to buy at the shops. Make a link between the list in the book and shopping lists children know about or have used.

12. Cooking Experiences

For the Student

Has anyone ever cooked something or helped someone else cook something at home?

Who likes pizza?

For the Teacher


Children do a Think-Pair-Share of any cooking experiences. Some children may not have any cooking experiences so perhaps those children could share something they enjoyed eating that someone else cooked for them.

13. Recipe

For the Student

Let’s make a class shopping list of what we would need to buy if we made a mini pizza.

What do we need to know to cook something? What needs to be in a recipe? How is it organised? What words would you choose to put in it?

Fast Mini Pizza Serves one
Base Recipe Toppings - choose:
3 tbspns tomato paste

1 slice chopped ham

Pinch oregano

Fresh tomato, chopped

3 tbspns reduced fat cheese or mozzarella cheese

1/2 onion, chopped

2 bread roll or muffin halves, or 2 small pita breads as base

Diced pineapple rings


Sliced mushrooms


Sliced capsicum

Method: Toast one side of base.

2. On untoasted side, spread tomato paste, add toppings, sprinkle with oregano and grated cheese.

3. Place under grill until cheese melts and is golden.

4. Serve with tossed salad.

The recipe is available at

For the Teacher


When making the shopping list, use the opportunity to focus on sound patterns and spelling of the words on the shopping list.

Show children the mini pizza recipe. Go through the recipe for making mini pizzas. Explicitly explain the features of a procedural text. Use labelling strategies, compile lists of the words to include the lists and display the lists and examples of the organisational framework and the language features around the room for the children to refer to.

Organisational Framework

Purpose (To instruct)

What are you going to do when you write a recipe?

Goal/Aim (Title)

What are you trying to make?

Materials (Food)

What did you use?

Method (Numbered steps)

What was the first thing you did?

What did you do after that?

Evaluation (Eat)

What did you think of the food when you ate it?

Language Features

  • Mainly action verbs – spread, add, place, serve
  • Simple present tense – spread, add, place, serve
  • Adjectives that are detailed and factual – 3 tblspns, pinch, slice, fresh, chopped, diced, sliced, untoasted, tossed
  • The reader is not mentioned at all

Reference: Steps Professional Development. (2005). First Steps Writing Resource Book. Melbourne: Rigby Heinemann.

14. Let’s Cook

For the Student

Let’s make mini pizzas. Then complete your recipe for making them or take photographs or draw what happened and sequence them or tell someone how to make mini pizzas.

For the Teacher


Make the mini pizzas together as a class. Depending on their ability, allocate different tasks to children to demonstrate their understanding of procedural texts.

15. Meal Manners Role Play

For the Student

What do you notice about these two people?

What are good/bad mealtime behaviours?

For the Teacher

Meal time behaviour

Choose two students to role-play good and bad table manners at a set up table in your classroom at the same time. The bad student uses their fingers, burps, chews with their mouth open and talking, bad posture, and is rude at the table. The student playing the good role should chew with their mouth closed, use knife and fork, elbows off the table, chair pushed in and sitting up straight, and uses manners at the table (please and thank you).

16. Analysing Meal Manners

For the Student

Follow this sequence using De Bono’s six thinking hats;

White Hat: Information gathering

What can you tell me about these two people’s eating behaviours?

Red Hat: Feelings

How does it make you feel when you see people eating like this?

Yellow Hat: Positives

What good things did the people in the role-play do?

Black Hat: problems

What are the people in the role-play doing wrong?

Green Hat: Alternatives

What could the students do to improve their table manners?

For the Teacher

Meal time behaviour

If accessible you can use pictures of the six thinking hats or obtain actual hats in the six different colours.

Using De Bono’s six thinking hats, question the students on the eating behaviours of the two students in the role-play. Use the SMARTBoard or a large sheet of paper to record students’ responses for the sequence below and display in your classroom.

17. A Pig's Book of Manners

For the Student

Predict: What do you think this book will be about?

What words do you think will be in this book?

Listen to the story.

Did you like the story? Why/Why not? Share your ideas.

What manners are presented in the story?

For the Teacher

Meal time behaviour

Do a book orientation and read a book about manners, eg A Pig’s Book of Manners by Nicholas Allan (Red Fox)). Using a Rally Robin (Kagan) elicit students’ personal responses and discuss the manners presented in the story.

18. Concept Map of Meal Manners

For the Student

As a class let’s make a mealtime manners concept map.

Now make your own mealtime manners concept map.

For the Teacher

Meal time behaviour

Decoding activities on A pig’s book of manners

In a Think-Pair-Share students discuss what manners they have to use at home during mealtimes. As a whole class, students share their responses and this is written up in a whole class concept map. Students then complete their own concept map listing their own mealtime manners.

19. Kakadu Jack

For the Student

Is the story true?

Why do you think the author wrote this story?

What part is your favourite part of the story?

Who has tasted these fruits? What is your favourite?

What do you notice about the way they have described the fruit?

Where was the food bought in this book?

Where are some of the places your family gets food from?

For the Teacher

Describing Food

Do a book orientation then read the big book Kakadu Jack by Brenda Parkes (Rigby) to the students and ask them questions relating to the book.

20. Fabulous Food

For the Student

Look at the words in the story?

Which ones are actions?

Which ones are describing words?

Let’s write some creative sentences together.

Now write your own.

What is a narrative? What three parts are there to a narrative? What is an orientation? What is a complication? What is a resolution?

Where is the orientation in Kakadu Jack? What does the orientation tell us? What is the complication in Kakadu Jack? What is the resolution in Kakadu Jack?

For the Teacher

Describing Food

Identify the buying choices Kakadu Jack made in the story. Model and focus on verbs used, the language the author uses to describe the food items and model how to use descriptive words.

Using shared and modelled writing strategies students think about food they like and use alliteration and describing words to create their own sentences eg. Grimy, green grapes. Focus on verbs used, the language the author uses to describe characters and things and model how to use descriptive words.

Re-read the big book Kakadu Jack. Introduce the term ‘narrative’ to the class. Ask students if anyone knows what three parts make up a ‘narrative’, ie orientation, complication, resolution. Talk about what these three terms mean. Go back through the story and try and locate the orientation of the story, the complication and the resolution. Label the sections of the story with cards displaying the narrative terms.

Students then work independently to break down Kakadu Jack into the narrative planning template, using both illustrations and words.

21. Wombat Stew

For the Student

What do you think Wombat Stew will be about? Look at the pictures and try to guess. Share your ideas with a partner.

Listen to the story.

Half way check if you were right. Do you want to change your prediction? If so share it with your partner.

So what happened at the end? Were you right?

What food does the dingo try to eat in the story?

What do the other animals add to his pot?

Would the additional ingredients make the food taste better or worse?

For the Teacher

Do a book orientation on the big book Wombat Stew by Mem Fox. Then read it to the children. Check if their predictions were correct about halfway and then at the end, allowing students to change their predictions if they want to at the halfway point. Use Think-Pair-Shares to ensure all students are thinking about and engaging with the story.

Identify the food the dingo tries to eat in the story. Students then sort and identify the foods the dingo tried to eat in the story.

22. Bush Tucker

For the Student

Where does bush tucker come from?

Who would eat bush tucker?

Why would people have to eat these types of food rather than shop bought food?

What would they have needed to grind food and other things for (flour, paints, medicines, etc)?

For the Teacher

Ask the students if anyone knows what ‘bush tucker’ means?

Discuss foods they think may be bush tucker. What makes these foods bush tucker.

Write answers on butchers paper for display around the room.

Have students do a google search with the term ‘Australian Bush Tucker’. Students then go back to their original brainstorm and add any information they found on the websites.

Discuss with students which was the best site and why? Discuss the information presented and how colour, pictures and writing were used to help readers understand the topic.

Discuss with students how Australia’s Indigenous people used stones to grind seeds and nuts as part of their diet. Students discuss where they have seen this type of equipment used, ie a pestle and mortar, and a windmill.

Model how to appropriately use the pestle and mortar.

23. Bush Tucker

For the Student

What do you think would make a good grinding rock? Find a rock and then use it to grind sunflower seeds on a grinding stone.

Where your rocks hard enough?

Where your rocks big enough?

Where your rocks too big?

Was your seed ground to a fine powder or where there still seed husks etc?

For the Teacher

Students go out and find rocks which they think would be appropriate for grinding seeds or nuts.

Students then grind sunflower seeds on their grinding stones.

24. Bush Tucker

For the Student

Write your own narrative about bush tucker. Include some of your creative sentences, other describing words and verbs.

For the Teacher

Students write their own narrative involving bush tucker. Use shared writing strategies or the narrative planning template to help students who need extra scaffolding.

25. Acknowledgements

The original version of this learning module was written by Rita van Haren, Sue Gorman and Christopher Antram.

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