Healthy eating and physical activity solutions for kids

Classroom Ideas

Stirring Up Health recipe contest for 7th and 8th graders

“Stirring Up Health™” Recipe Contest
Classroom Connections




Star“Stir up” healthy discussions with kids using the following talking points:

  • Focus on healthy CHOICES rather than weight.
  • Be a role model and join kids in making healthy eating and physical activity choices.  
  • Help kids recognize all foods fit with healthy balance of eating and physical activity decisions.
  • Use HKC’s 6 Simple Healthy Habit Building Messages:
    • Fruits & Veggies Every Day the Tasty Way! More matters, so encourage kids to eat more fruits and veggie daily.
    • Snack Attack! Choose foods with added sugar and fat less often or in smaller amounts.
    • Active Play EVERY Day! Encourage kids to choose physical activities they LIKE to do. Try to enjoy at least 60 minutes of active movement most every day!
    • Breakfast GO Power! Eat breakfast to THINK-LEARN-GROW-PLAY
    • Discover Smart Servings! Recognize how sometimes it is not WHAT but HOW MUCH.
    • Drink Think! Choose water and 3- A -Day of low fat milk.

StarLearning Ideas for Teacher, Home Schools, Youth Leaders or Family!

The recipe contest is a perfect opportunity to:

  • Begin to talk with kids about healthy balance using the talking points above.
  • Apply math skills, reading, basic kitchen skills, advocacy, goal setting, and meet health education standards for knowledge and application of MyPlate!
  • Offer kids a fun and creative hands-on experience in the kitchen!

Here are a few ideas to enhance the learning experience!  Be creative with ideas of your own! 

  • MyPlate Food Groups - Have students review the Del Monte healthy tips and recipe ideas. Identify why these are healthy and the food groups recipe ingredients represent.
  • Fruits & Veggies: Every Day the Tasty Way - Challenge kids to record their fruit and veggie intake for a week. Encourage them to "Strive for Five"...or more servings a day. Talk about how the recipe contest encourages kids to include fruits and veggies in breakfast foods, snacks and meat side dishes to reach their daily servings goal
  • Creative Recipe Add-Ins -  Have kids experiment with fruit and veggie additions. For example, include diced carrots in a spaghetti sauce, or toss together strawberries and crushed pineapple as a low-fat pudding topper. Taste test and record comments. Discuss the results.
  • Label Reading - Using packaged food products, identify the amount of fiber and discuss how fiber comes from grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes. Identify fat and sugar on the label. Use visuals to represent the amount of fat and sugar in one serving. Note: 1 tsp fat or sugar (1 sugar cube) is equivalent to 4 grams. Talk about how to use lower fat/sugar substitutions in recipes. Encourage kids to modify or create a recipe using fruits and veggies for the recipe contest! Did you know fruits can be fat replacers? Experiment!
  • Math Skills - Practice adjusting recipe ingredients for varying numbers of servings.



  • Home Baking Association educator tools
    • Check lists and tip sheets
    • Recipes
    • Book and Bake ideas for older kids to read children's books and demonstrate recipes to younger kids
    •  Much more
  • Fightbac Talk about food safety and proper hand washing procedures. Have kids research recommendations for safe food temperatures

  • Review Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Discuss each of the guidelines. Have kids choose just one of the guidelines and determine one change they could make in their typical day to improve one of the Key Recommendations.

  • Talk about MyPlate food groups and explore the variety of foods. Discuss the groups which are represented in a sample recipe.
  • Fruits and Veggies: More Matters  Discuss the recommendation of 5-9 daily servings. Explore the different fruit and veggie choices available.