Uploaded by John Woody


Lesson Guide for Edible ABC’s
Welcome to Edible ABC’s, an addition to Read for Health. In this curriculum, students will learn about
the alphabet while learning and tasting new healthy foods from around the world.
Using the Edible ABC’s Picture Cards, follow the activities below to introduce each new food and the
letter, discuss how it helps the body, and taste the food using the recommended recipe or tasting
ideas. For additional ways to explore these foods, you may also choose a book from our book list or
try growing the food in a container or garden at your school. Please also see our Additional Support
Materials section for more information on provided resources that accompany the lessons.
Follow the outline below to teach each lesson, including all 4 activities:
Lesson Extensions:
Mystery Box - Introduce
a new food by hiding it in
a box or bag and do not
allow students to look at it,
as it is passed around. After
everyone has felt it, reveal
the item.
Taste of the World - Over
the course of the year, track
the foods tasted across the
globe by marking each item
on the globe with a label.
Periodically review all of the
places you have tasted food
from across the globe.
Culture - Research how
foods are eaten around the
world. You may find that in
some countries, a different
part of the plant is eaten or
the food is prepared in an
unusual way.
Math - When cutting open
a food with seeds, allow
students to sort and count
the seeds.
Activity 1: Introduce a New Healthy Food and Letter of the Alphabet
1. Introduce the letter and write the name of the food on the board.
2. Show the food in its whole form by either bringing in the food item,
raw and whole, or show the picture from the Edible ABC’s Picture Cards.
a. Pass the food or card around and ask students to look at the color
and shape of the food.
b. If using the whole food, ask students to smell and feel the outside
of the food and encourage them to use descriptive words to describe it (sweet, smooth, hard, etc.).
3. Discuss how the food grows or where it comes from:
a. Does it grow in a tree?
b. Does it grow underground?
c. What part of the plant do we eat when we eat this food?
(fruit, flower, seed, stem, root, or leaves)
d. If not a fruit or vegetable, where does this food come from?
4. Where does this food grow?
a. Does it grow in Maryland?
b. Does this food come from a different country?
c. Identify the place that the food is grown on a map or globe.
Activity 2: Discuss How Each Food Helps the Body
1. Remind students that since we are trying healthy foods, everything we
will taste helps our bodies in different ways.
2. Lay out the Good for You Cards on a table at the front of the room.
3. Share the health benefits of the food as listed on the back of each Edible ABC’s Picture Card. Choose a student to come up and find the
correct picture card and place on the board. Have students “act out”
the health benefits as listed on the back of each Good for You Card
(For example: Make a muscle with your bicep when you see the Strong
Muscle card.)
4. Once all of the cards specific to the food being discussed are displayed, lead the class in a discussion of why we need to make sure
to eat plenty of this food.
Activity 3: Taste a New Healthy Food
1. Review tasting rules prior to all tasting activities:
Tasting Vote – Following
a. Everyone must try the food (unless allergic).
the tasting, have students
b. Words such as “yuck” and “ugh” are not allowed.
vote on how much they
c. If they do not like a food, students may say “I don’t care for it.”
liked the food (not today/
2. Wash hands, produce, and food preparation surfaces prior to all
little bit/loved it). This is
tasting activities.
a great way to practice
a. Have students sing the ABC’s or Happy Birthday song while
counting and sorting!
washing their hands.
3. Simple food tastings and quantities are provided. If seeking an
alternative tasting that uses a full recipe, or for recipe ideas to send
home, view the back of each Edible ABC’s Picture Card.
4. Allow students to help with food preparation and serving.
a. Give everyone a task, such as cutting their own food with a plastic knife on a paper plate.
b. Assign students tasks to help prepare a recipe, such as washing produce, tearing lettuce,
cutting tomatoes with a plastic knife, cleaning before and after, handing out napkins, serving, etc.
Activity 4: Complete My Edible ABC’s Letter
1. Make copies of My Edible ABC’s Letter and pass one out to each
2. Ask students to draw the letter in the space provided.
3. Draw a picture of the food in the box provided.
4. Circle or color the face that is the best match for how they felt
about the food they tasted.
Students Love Stickers!
Give each student a sticker
to wear that shows what
food they tasted today
and remind them to share
their experience with their
Reinforcement Activities
Reinforcement 1: Explore Growing the Food
Recycle milk cartons, yogurt cups and other small food containers to grow seeds. Follow the steps
below to complete this activity:
Rinse out the container and let it dry.
Fill the container with seed starter potting mix.
Plant the seeds according the seed packet.
Lightly water using a spray bottle.
Place in a sunny window.
Do not allow the soil to dry out. Mist or gently water as the soil begins to get dry.
Experiment with seed germination by following the steps below:
1. Place seeds in a wet paper towel.
2. Place the wet paper towel in a plastic zipper baggie.
3. Experiment with growing in light and dark conditions by placing some seeds in a dark closet
or drawer and others near a sunny window.
Plant a small container garden by choosing one of the options below for your
• Plant seeds or seedlings in a garden container outdoors.
• Reuse gallon milk jugs by rinsing them well and cutting off the top of the jug.
Make holes in the bottom for drainage using a nail or thumbtack.
Reinforcement 2: Read Aloud Children’s Books
More Math!
Measure and
track the
growth of
seeds and
plants with
charts in the
Children’s books are a great way to link what children are learning and tasting
with language arts. Many of the foods included in this curriculum can be found
in children’s books in your library. Many individual fruits and vegetables have books already written
about them. The back of each Edible ABC’s Picture Card lists some suggestions for book choices that
relate to specific letters of the alphabet.
There are endless amounts of books that could be selected to accompany your Edible ABC’s lessons
and food tastings. Below are a few tips for selecting appropriate children’s books on the food topics in
this curriculum. Select stories that….
Discuss where food comes from
Discuss how food is grown
Portray different ways to eat or prepare foods
Highlight cooking and eating as a family
Demonstrate children selecting healthy foods
Portray healthy food items in a positive way
The book suggestions listed on the back of each Edible ABC’s Picture Card highlight one or more food
items. For a list of children’s books that focus on many fruits, vegetables, and other healthy foods,
please see the list below.
A Fruit is a Suitcase for Seeds by Jean Richards (Read for Health Lesson #5)
Before we Eat: From Farm to Table by Pat Brisson
Feast for 10 by Cathryn Falwell (Read for Health Lesson #8)
Growing Vegetable Soup by Lois Ehlert
Max Goes to the Farmers’ Market by Adria F. Klein (Read for Health Lesson #1)
Stone Soup by Ann McGovern
The ABC’s of Fruits and Vegetables and Beyond by Steve Charney and David Goldbeck
The Vegetables We Eat by Gail Gibbons
The Wild Bunch by Dee Lillegard
Time to Eat: Try Fruits and Vegetables with Me! by Maryland FSNE and Maryland WIC programs*
Tops and Bottoms by Janet Stevens
Why Do I Need to Eat Fruits and Veggies? by Johanna Pomeroy-Crockett
(Read for Health Lesson #7)
* Time to Eat: Try Fruits and Vegetables with Me! is a children’s book designed by Maryland FSNE and
Maryland WIC programs. This children’s book discusses and pictures many of the fruits and vegetables
included in Edible ABC’s and is a great companion resource to this curriculum. The story portrays
children and families selecting, preparing, and eating healthy foods together.
Additional Support Materials Provided
The following materials are provided with the Edible ABC’s program. These resources are designed to
assist with lesson delivery and the connection to families at home.
Edible ABC’s Picture Cards – Picture cards are provided for each food tasted to be used as a teaching
tool for lessons. Cards show both the food item as well as how is it grown, or where it comes from.
Pictures are paired with the food’s name and corresponding letter of the alphabet.
Teacher Note: There is no Edible ABC’s lesson available for letters “I” and “X”. If you would like to
conduct a tasting with these letters in your classroom, please see suggestions provided in the
Edible ABC’s Picture Cards.
Good for You Cards – Provided are 6 additional picture cards that display health benefits of the foods
tasted in Edible ABC’s. These cards are designed to aid in a basic discussion about how these foods
provide different nutrients to help the body grow and stay healthy. All fruits, vegetables, whole grains,
low-fat dairy and lean protein foods provide a variety of vitamins and nutrients which help the body
in many ways. This curriculum only highlights six specific health benefits that are appropriate for
preschool-aged students: Strong Bones, Strong Muscles, Helps Eyes, Prevents Cough/Cold, Provides
Water and Helps Digestion.
Family Newsletter – This newsletter is designed to be sent home to families prior to beginning the
Edible ABC’s program. The newsletter lets families know their child will be learning about new, healthy
foods, as they taste their way through the alphabet and provides tips for how to engage in further
discussion around these lessons at home.
My Edible ABC’s Letter – This student handout can accompany any lesson in Edible ABC’s. It is
designed to be used with each letter of the alphabet. The handout gives children the opportunity to
let their families know about each food they have tasted and how much they enjoy these foods!
Stickers – Edible ABC’s comes with a set of stickers for each food and letter of the alphabet. Stickers
are designed to be worn home by students to let families know about the food they tasted and
discussed that day. Oftentimes, this prompts a discussion at home about what students learned about
and tasted at school.