Healthy Habits

Engaging activities focused on food help preschoolers form positive habits and experiences early on

girl holding up vegetable soup recipe

At A Glance

When preschoolers eat healthy, nutritious foods, it supports their physical growth, energy, and motivation. Eating healthy foods can support their ability to focus and learn. Children are more likely reach for healthy foods in the future when they form positive thoughts and habits early on. Educators can support children to understand the relationship between healthy foods and their bodies. We can do this by involving children in growing, cooking, and discussing healthy foods and the people who work with our food in fun, positive ways.

What It Looks Like

A quick glance at how you can support healthy habits for preschoolers

Model & Narrate Food Choices

Celebrate the deliciousness and benefits of healthy foods by identifying and labeling them by name. 

Talk about Food

Support children’s positive thoughts and habits around healthy eating development by talking about healthy foods in fun, positive ways.

Offer Choice

Promote healthy eating habits by providing nutritious food options to children and allowing them to decide whether to eat, what to eat, and how much to eat.


Amara's Farm

Written by JaNay Brown-Wood and illustrated by Samara Hardy, this story follows a girl around her garden as she appreciates the many unique and tasty qualities of the vegetables and fruits growing there.

Amara's Farm Book Cover
Tomatoes for Neela Book Cover


Tomatoes for Neela

Written by Padma Lakshmi and illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal, this story shows a child connecting with her family by learning about and cooking the food that nourishes them.


Fostering Security

Food insecurity and trauma can affect the way a child develops healthy habits. This article from Fostering People includes ideas for helping children develop a secure relationship with food.


Healthy Ways to Celebrate

From food to activities, this video from Alliance for a Healthier Generation offers tips to celebrate special occasions with children in healthy ways.


Healthy Body Images

Adults play an important role in helping children think positively about their bodies. This article from Today’s Parent offers three tips for fostering children’s healthy body images. 

Activity Cards for Preschool Classrooms

Part of the STREAMin3 curriculum, these activity cards provide simple and fun ways to support children’s healthy habits
Activity card - Class Soup - Regulate Move
Get Creative

Class Soup

Get creative as you and children build a recipe for pretend soup.

Activity card - Focus on Food - Regulate Move
Talk about It

Focus on Foods

Talking about food choices helps children understand how different foods help their bodies grow.

Activity card - I'm Thinking of a Food - Regulate Move
Take a guess

I’m Thinking of a Food

Play a guessing game by describing food items by their look, texture, and taste.

Activity card - Where Does it Come From - Regulate Move
Explore More

Where Does It Come From?

Talk about where different foods come from and the people who work to grow, deliver, and sell foods.


Get Our Resource Guide

Includes questions and activities to guide your use of the videos, book suggestions, and activity cards featured for each of the Core Skills