Teach 5 groups of food through the Nursery Rhyme Jack Sprat

How to Successfully Teach 5 Groups of Food through the Nursery Rhyme Jack Sprat

5 Groups of Food and the Food Group Pyramid

Over the years, there have been many resources to explain the 5 groups of food and the food pyramid. When I began teaching in the early 90s, we moved from teaching about food groups to teaching the food pyramid. Originally the groups totaled four.

They were:

  1. The MIlk Group
  2. The Meat Group
  3. The Fruits and Vegetables Group
  4. The Bread Group
Jack Sprat Learns about Food. The original 4 food groups: meat group. milk group, fruit & vegetable group, and bread group
The original 4 food groups: meat group. milk group, fruit & vegetable group, and bread group

In 1992, the food pyramid was introduced. It attempted to classify the groups. It included six groups on four levels:

  1. A “base” 5 of grains and carbohydrates recommending 6–11 servings of bread, rice, pasta, etc.
  2. Above the grains was fruit (2–4 servings) and vegetables (3–5 servings).
  3. Then the dairy group (2–3 servings) and the protein group, including meat, eggs, nuts, and beans (2–3 servings).
  4. Finally, at the very top of the pyramid sat the fats group.
the food pyramid was introduced in 1992. It was used in the first edition of Jack Sprat book
In the 1990s Jack Sprat and his wife used the food pyramid as a guide.

This model actually encouraged us to eat more carbs and people gained weight. Therefore, the pyramid got a makeover in 2005. It was turned on its side and now included a running man to emphasize exercise along with diet. Even though it now included specific serving sizes, it still did not encourage healthy food choices.

My Plate Categories and 5 Groups of Food

In 2011, the USDA developed My Plate. The five groups that exist in this model are

  1. Fruits
  2. Vegetables
  3. Dairy
  4. Grains
  5. Protein
in 2011 the USDA developed My Plate
In 2011 we were introduced to MyPlate

My Plate Gov

The USDA has provided a public resource known as My Plate. Their graphics illustrate the food groups in a simple way.

None have been as easy to read and enjoyable as this Mother Goose Meets Mother Nature book. This resource includes graphics from myplate.gov. You will love this beautifully illustrated printable book and eBook of Jack Sprat.

Jack Sprat explains to his wife that her diet is lacking protein. My Plate Gov is a guide
Jack Sprat explains to his wife that her diet is lacking protein using MyPlate as a guide

Jack Sprat and his Wife

You probably know that “Jack Sprat would eat no fat and his wife would eat no lean”.

But, what did they eat? It is not a problem for Jack to not eat the fat because he still ate lean meat. He was still getting protein. His wife, however, did not eat even lean meat. She was missing protein from her diet. Jack has the solution. He explains to his wife that if she will eat nuts or beans, she will still get the protein she needs to have a balanced diet.

A page from Jack Sprat Learns About Food: "So for a healthy life," Jack told his wife, "Replace meat with nuts and beans." Mr. and Mrs. Sprat have both learned that a balanced diet keeps you happy, healthy, and lean.
Jack helps his wife get protein without eating meat.

Nursery Rhyme Jack Sprat

The nursery rhyme of Jack Sprat is a great way to teach young children about good nutrition.

In this creative teaching resource by Dawn Stephens Books, Jack Sprat and his wife eat fruits, vegetables, bread, milk, and cheese. They learn how to eat healthily. In other words, this book will help children know what should be in the meals they eat too.

If you searching for easy-to-read text that can help your preschoolers, kindergarteners, or first-grade students learn about good nutrition, you will want to have this book. Dawn Stephens has masterfully created a resource that contains new lyrics to the Mother Goose rhyme of Jack Sprat. Your students will memorize the text with ease and then be able to track the words in the book. Therefore, this printable guided reading book and PowerPoint eBook Show will help students learn to read too.

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