For younger students or students with multiple disabilities, a 3-dimensional food pyramid can help to make the understanding of nutrition more tangible. Students who are blind or visually impaired benefit from using real objects, or in this case real items of food, rather than pictures or plastic models. By using real pieces of food, students can handle the different items, smell them, taste them, and explore their properties (e.g. seeds, peel, crust, etc.) This can also be connected to shopping and cooking lessons.
3-dimensional food pyramid
variety of food from each of the food groups
Create a 3-dimensional food pyramid, preferably using transparent materials, such as plexiglass, so that students with low vision can see the items on each shelf.
Gather items from different food groups, so that students can place these in the appropriate parts of the pyramid.
Discuss the importance of food for the human body.
Ask the students what foods they like to eat. Talk about which foods they eat at different times of days and different seasons.
Discuss different food groups and ask students which foods go into different categories, such as fruits, vegetables, protein, dairy, grains.
Ask students what they have eaten that day and which of the foods go into which category.
Talk about which foods one should eat the most of and which ones one should eat less of.
Invite the students to place each item of food into different parts of the food pyramid. This is a great opportunity to reinforce positional concepts, such as above, below, next to.