Eat well (5-7 Years)

Eat well - A variety of food and drinks are needed for health, as depicted by the Eatwell Guide.

Eat well

Activity 1 - The UK’s healthy eating model is called The Eatwell Guide and it has five groups. 

Before this session, read The Eatwell Guide information. This will provide useful background detail about The Eatwell Guide. You may also wish to take a look at The Eatwell Guide videos

Using The Eatwell Guide presentation (5-7), ask the children to look at the image of The Eatwell Guide and tell you what they can see. Encourage them to notice that:

  • there are five food groups;
  • they are different colours and contain different foods;
  • the groups are different sizes;
  • there is a glass showing how many drinks are needed.

Help the children engage further with the Guide by asking them to name food they can see that they have tried before.   

Explain to the children that the food we eat can be sorted into five groups. Ask if they can suggest what the groups might be called by looking at the types of food they contain. After you have taken one or two answers for each group, tell the children the food group names:

  • Fruit and vegetables;
  • Potatoes, bread, rice, pasta and other starchy carbohydrates;
  • Beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other proteins;
  • Dairy and alternatives;
  • Oil and spreads.

The five food groups are shown individually on the Five food group cards. You may like to use these as flash cards to test if children can remember the group names or these could be displayed.


Activity 2 - Different food belongs in different Eatwell Guide food groups.

Display The Eatwell Guide poster (basic) at an accessible height for the children. From The Eatwell Guide food cards, select a food for each of the five groups. Show one card at a time and ask a child to attach the card to the poster by the correct food group. Work through the five cards and then repeat the activity a few more times to help embed where different food belongs on The Eatwell Guide.

Cut along the perforated lines on the Food selection worksheet to create five strips of food. The children will need a strip each so you will need multiple copies of this sheet. Give each child a copy of The Eatwell Guide worksheet and a strip of food. Task the children to cut and stick the food into the correct groups on their worksheet.  

Children could place the cut outs in position so they can be checked first. When they have attached all the images, they can draw other food in the food groups on their worksheet. You may wish to have The Eatwell Guide poster (basic) available for reference.

Try the Eatwell Challenge interactive activity/game.


Activity 3 – Most meals should include food from the main four Eatwell Guide food groups.

Show children The Eatwell Guide poster (basic) or The Eatwell Guide presentation (5-7). Question them about the size of the food groups:

  • Which are the largest groups?
  • Which is the smallest group?
  • What does this mean?

Explain that this shows us which groups we should eat more or less. Check that the children can identify the larger groups from which we should eat more and the smaller groups from which we should eat less.

Explain to the children that to stay healthy we need to eat a variety of food from within the four main food groups shown on The Eatwell Guide.  The four main food groups are:

  • Fruit and vegetables;
  • Potatoes, bread, rice, pasta and other starchy carbohydrates;
  • Beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other proteins;
  • Dairy and alternatives.

Only a little is needed from the Oil and spreads group, e.g. a little spread on a sandwich, a little oil for cooking.

Explain to the children that some food is not needed for health and ask if they can give any examples.  Explain that food such as chocolate, crisps, cakes, ice cream and sweets are not needed. These types of food are often high in fat, salt and sugar so if they are eaten it should only be occasionally and in small amounts.

Set the children the challenge of planning a healthy lunch that includes food from the four main food groups of The Eatwell Guide. They can use the My lunch worksheet or create a painting or collage of the lunch.


Activity 4 - Everyone should eat at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables every day.

Show the children the Fruit and vegetable food group using The Eatwell Guide presentation (5-7) The Eatwell Guide poster (basic) or Five food group cards. Explain that you are going to look closely at the Fruit and vegetable group. Ask the children to name the fruit and vegetables they can see.

Discuss with the children what they think should be eaten from this group each day. Tell the children that everyone should eat at least five portions* of fruit and vegetables every day. Variety is important.

Ask the children what they like in this group and what fruit and vegetables they ate yesterday.

Explain to the children that all different types of fruit and vegetables count, for example:

  • fresh;
  • frozen, e.g. frozen peas;
  • dried, e.g. raisins;
  • canned, e.g. sweetcorn;
  • juice, e.g. orange juice.

Draw a character on the board. This might be a character from a book or television programme with which the children are familiar. Ask the children to help you plan how the character can eat at least 5 A DAY. Note what the character will eat and when.

* As a rule of thumb, a portion is what fits into the palm of a hand. Juice/smoothies should be limited to a combined total of 150ml per day. For dried fruit, an adult portion is 30g so a child’s portion would be a little less. Dried fruit only counts as one portion of 5 A DAY. Dried fruit can stick to teeth, which may lead to tooth decay, so it’s best to keep dried fruit to mealtimes and not between meals.

Organise the children into groups of five. Give each child in the group a copy of the Fantastic folding 5 A DAY worksheet. Explain that by working together, they are going to plan the 5 A DAY for the character (discussed earlier in the session) for Monday through to Friday. Allocate a day of the school week to each child in the group of five. Each child should write the day of the week and character’s name on the top of the sheet and then fold this section over (backwards) along the dotted line. They should then pass the sheet to the person to their left who will write or draw the first 5 A DAY fruit or vegetable in section one. The sheet is then folded backwards again and passed to the next person who will repeat this and so on until five fruit and/or vegetables have been recorded and the sheet passed back with the original author. The children can then unfold the sheet they originally started and read out the 5 A DAY the character will have on that day of the week.

Discuss the 5 A DAY that has been planned for the character for each day:

  • Is there a variety or are their duplications within a day?
  • Is there a good mix of fruit and vegetable or is it all fruit or all vegetables?
  • Would they swap any of the options to get a better variety?

Look at the week as a whole for the character and consider the same questions. In addition, does the week include fresh, frozen, canned, dried and juiced varieties of fruit and vegetables?

Summarise for the children that we all need to each at least 5 A DAY, every day and this should be a variety of different fruit and vegetables.


Further activities

  • Create displays about the five food groups in the classroom. You could use clean, empty food packaging to help.
  • Plan a series of cooking sessions to promote the four main food groups, for example:
  • Fruit and vegetables: fruit salad, fruit kebabs, coleslaw;
  • Potatoes, bread, rice, pasta and other starchy carbohydrates: bread rolls, rice salad.
  • Dairy and alternatives: dips;
  • Beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other proteins: mackerel pate.
  • Create a 5 A DAY rainbow display with images/photos of different fruit and vegetables grouped by colour in rainbow stripes.


Reviewed November 2023

The Eatwell Guide

A guide about The Eatwell Guide.

5 - 7 YR
The Eatwell Guide presentation

A presentation introducing the Eatwell Guide.

Five food group cards

A set of cards showing the five main food groups from the Eatwell Guide.

The Eatwell Guide

A poster of The Eatwell Guide.

The Eatwell Guide (basic)

A basic poster of The Eatwell Guide.

The Eatwell Guide food cards

A set of food cards which are depicted in The Eatwell Guide.

5 - 7 YR
Food selection

A worksheet showing different food and drinks from the Eatwell Guide.

5 - 7 YR
The Eatwell Guide worksheet

A blank Eatwell Guide worksheet to complete.

5 - 7 YR
My lunchbox

A worksheet about planning a lunchbox in line with the Eatwell Guide.

5 - 7 YR
Fantastic folding 5 A DAY

A worksheet around naming 5 A DAY for a character.

5 - 7 YR
FFL Workbook 1

An 8-page workbook for pupils aged 5-7 years, covering healthy eating, drinki...

Are you drinking plenty?

Are you drinking plenty? poster.


Take the Eatwell Challenge

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