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Chapter 3
Food for the day

Background information for Chapter 3

Ideally, children should have three well-balanced meals a day, with snacks in between, which will give them energy, help them grow and keep them healthy. This means a variety of foods every day. They should start the day with a good breakfast and have something to eat in the middle of the morning to keep them going. They should enjoy their food, and look forward to it because it is varied and interesting and tastes good. They should wash hands before eating with soap and clean running water.

In practice all this is not always easy to achieve. Sometimes families have only one or two meals a day. The food is often the same from day to day. Often children don’t get a fair share of these meals and parents or guardians may not realise this. Families may not have time to prepare snacks for children before going out to work. There may be social factors which prevent children having a fair share, or even from washing their hands properly.

Established practices may be difficult to change and of course young children are not in charge of what is done in the home. Rather than challenging existing practices directly it may be possible to find ways around them - for example, can children prepare their own snacks? Or organize their own hand-washing? Often the best the school can do is to make pupils aware of different ways of doing things and the reasons for them, so that they can make their own choices.


This chapter moves on from particular nutrients and their functions to eating practices. It focuses on a few simple but basic issues - the need for variety, the importance of breakfast and snacks and some eating practices in the home. These are sensitive questions and it is a good idea to discuss these lessons with families beforehand and agree on the messages to be given to children in each lesson.


Lesson 1

promotes general variety in the diet.


Lesson 2

aims to get children to appreciate and ask for breakfast. It is supplemented by an extra optional lesson Chalo needs breakfast.


Lesson 3

stresses the value of snacks for maintaining energy during the day.


Lesson 4

looks briefly at home eating habits, in particular hand-washing and separate plates.


Background information for teachers

Children should by now have realized that most foods are important, and that many foods give particular benefits. They should be ready to see that what matters is many different foods every day - that is, variety.


Children will be able to:

Time: 30 minutes

Teaching and learning aids

Revision and feedback on homework

a) Touch your eyes, teeth, hair and skin, and ask pupils what you are touching. What is under your skin? (flesh, bone and blood). Ask what "special foods" are good for eyes, teeth, hair, skin and blood - can they remember some of them?

b) (Feedback from homework) Ask which of these foods are in their own houses and gardens. Ask which they ate yesterday. Praise those who ate several - they will have good eyes, teeth, hair, skin and blood and will not get sick!


Can pupils remember foods which give them a lot of energy?
Can they remember foods which are good for growing?
Can they think of any other good foods (not already on the board)?

a) Put pupils in groups to think of more foods. Groups send "messengers" to the board to write them up, being careful not to write the same food twice.

b) Congratulate them on thinking of so many foods.

c) Ask them (in groups) to tell each other how many foods they ate yesterday.

d) Find out who had the most, and congratulate them.

Explain the importance of eating a lot of different foods every day. This way you get food for energy, food for growing and food for staying healthy.

Activity 14

a) Children look at the pictures; read out the words under them.

b) Bring out two pupils to be Mule and Muke and two pupils to serve them food using plates or pretend plates.

c) Say It is Monday. Mule and Muke are eating.
Mule is having...... and Muke is having...... (children suggest some foods) (The children are served and pretend to eat)

d) Say It is Tuesday. Mule and Muke are eating again.
Mule is having......... (children suggest a different food)
and Muke is having..... ? (Pause and wait for suggestions)
Say No, it’s not true! Muke is having............ (exactly the same food as Monday)
(The children are served. Mule looks happy. Muke looks disappointed.)

e) And now what day is it? (children tell you it’s Wednesday)
Mule is having......? (wait for new suggestions)
and Muke is having......??
No, Muke is having....... (exactly the same food as Monday and Tuesday) (The children are served - same responses as before)

Explain that this goes on and on through the week. Ask how Mule feels (happy). And how does Muke feel? (depressed, fed up) Why? Because the food is always the same.


Ask pupils to find the words energy, growing and health in the Reading and then the word different. Ask for a volunteer to read the Reading aloud.

Ask yourself

This is a rehearsal for homework. Demonstrate asking and answering the question, e.g. How many different foods did I eat yesterday? Well, for breakfast I had maize porridge, and then I had a mango, so that’s two (count on your fingers), and then... What about you? This shows children that they must think of the foods and count them at the same time. Emphasize and demonstrate that the same food eaten twice only counts as one. Remind children about ingredients of relishes like oil, salt, sugar, onion, which they might forget.

Ask them to ask themselves the same question in their heads and count the foods on their fingers. Then they should copy and complete the box in their books. Tell them they have to do the same for homework, but for another day.


Ask the pupils why they think eating different foods is important. Also ask how they can increase the number of different foods they eat.


Pupils are asked to count the number of foods they eat in one day (e.g. today or tomorrow). They have to come back with a list and a number. They also have to tell their parents/guardians about it.


Background information for teachers

Growing children need three meals a day and snacks in between. However we can’t tell children to eat three meals a day if adults don’t provide the meals, or if there is not enough food in the house. This lesson limits itself to breakfast in the hope that breakfast is an achievable objective which can be promoted by further contact and discussion with parents/guardians.

Breakfast is a very important meal. It provides enough food to the body to last up to lunchtime. Some people do not take this important meal and as a result their performance is affected. Many children for example have no breakfast and walk a long distance to school. As a result they fall asleep in the lesson! Children and families need to realize the importance of breakfast for energy in the morning, and for good schoolwork.


Pupils should be able to:

Time: 30 minutes

Teaching/learning aids

Feedback on homework and revision

a) Ask pupils who ate four different foods yesterday? What were they? Who ate six? What were they? Who ate eight? And so on. Do not make negative comments but show great approval of MANY DIFFERENT KINDS OF FOOD IN ONE DAY. Also show approval of fruits and vegetables, and any particular foods you like yourself. If you have time, play the game Greedy (Chapter 1, Lesson 2) to reinforce the value of many different foods.

b) Bring out the Remember message from Chapter 2, Lesson 1 (Eat for energy. Eat before you come to school. Bring food to school to eat.). Ask a pupil to read it aloud and ask pupils to comment on it as they did before.

Introduction/Activity 15

Demonstrate, or get pupils to demonstrate, a pupil paying attention and a pupil not paying attention (asleep, fidgeting, distracted, chatting). Ask how they themselves feel today. What helps them to pay attention in the morning? A good sleep? An interesting subject? Good/bad weather? A nice teacher? A good breakfast?

Children look at the picture and comment. Is it like their own class? Pupils answer the questions under the picture. (Ask bridging questions if necessary - e.g. Tell me about the children. Which ones are paying attention? Which ones are not paying attention? Which ones have no energy? Do you think they are hungry? Why do you think that? etc.)

Ask if breakfast is important. Ask why (because it gives energy for the whole morning, makes it possible to study and work). Do they like to eat breakfast? Give your own (positive) feelings about breakfast.

Activity 16

Pupils look at the picture and guess what the family is having for breakfast. They then say what they like to eat for breakfast. Give your own preferences too. (It is better not to ask directly if they had breakfast themselves, since this may be an indicator of social status).


Children close up their books. Write up on the board:

Breakfast is the first meal of the....................................
Breakfast gives you......................................................
Breakfast makes you....................................................
Breakfast helps you to..................................................
Some foods for breakfast are........................................

Read them out one by one and ask pupils how they could complete the sentence (this prepares them for reading and also gives an idea of their understanding of the lesson). Approve all sensible suggestions. Ask them to read the Reading in pairs and compare their ideas with the text.

Ask yourself

Demonstrate asking and answering the question for yourself, then leave children to do the same for themselves. Tell pupils they have to choose ONE of the two answers in the box. Walk around and look at the answers. This is your opportunity to find out which children have breakfast without making it public. If many children do not have breakfast, the problem should be raised (naming no names) at a meeting of the PTA, PCSC or the School Health and Nutrition Committee.


Ask for a volunteer to write the Remember message on a piece of paper, display it in the classroom and read it out. On the opposite side write the title of the lesson. Ask the pupils to say why they think this message is important and give examples of good breakfast foods. Find out from the pupils what they can do to make sure that they have breakfast every day.


Choose homework A or B, or let children choose.

A. If a lot of children are not having breakfast, it is essential to make families aware of the importance of children eating before they come to school.

B. If most children have breakfast, then it is good for them to learn how to organize a breakfast themselves.

Optional extra lesson on breakfast

Play the game below called Chalo Needs Breakfast.

After the game ask pupils to explain the message of the story.

If there is no time for the extra lesson, ask children to look at the pictures for homework and tell you about them at the next lesson.

CHALO needs Breakfast

This is a chant which practises the objectives of Lesson 2, emphasizing the importance of breakfast for good work at school.

a) Teach and practise the chant below stage by stage, referring to the map in the Pupils Book.

b) Ask children to stand up in a circle. Practise gestures (e.g. offering food, refusing, yawning) and movements (walking, running, skipping).

c) Ask how you run uphill and walk across a narrow bridge. Practise movements for these (e.g. bend your backs, move slowly, keep your balance).

d) Ask what you need to do these things (energy) and what gives you the energy (food). What happens if you run and skip and walk and you haven’t eaten anything? (you get tired). Practise going slowly, huffing and puffing.

e) Choose a sensible child to play "Chalo", establish places in the classroom for "Chalo’s house", "Big Hill", "Thick Forest" etc., and divide the other roles among the other pupils (several people can be each character).

f) The class performs the chant as a dialogue as Chalo goes on his journey to school (around the classroom).

g) If there is time, the class can repeat the chant in smaller groups on their own.

h) Children return to their seats.

i) Discuss the breakfast question - why you need it, what food is good for breakfast, how long it takes to prepare etc.

j) Ask children to take the story back to their families, act it out and explain it.


Chalo, a school boy

Chalo’s mother

Fred the farmer

Mickey Monkey

Fabian Fisherman

Godfrey Goat

Chalo’s teacher

Scene 1 Chalo’s house


Chalo, Chalo, eat some fruit before you go to school.


I can’t, I can’t. I’m late for class, I must walk and run and skip very fast.


Scene 2 Going up Big Hill


Chalo, Chalo, have some cereal before you climb the hill.


I can’t, I can’t, I’m late for class, I must walk and run and skip very fast.

(a bit more slowly)

Scene 3 In the Thick Forest


Chalo, Chalo, have some nuts to keep you going.


I can’t, I can’t, I’m late for class, I must walk and run and skip very fast.

(puffing a little)

Scene 4 Narrow Bridge


Chalo, Chalo, have some fish to help you grow.


I can’t, I can’t, I’m late for class, I must walk and run and skip very fast.

(concentrating on balancing)

Scene 5 Steep Hill


Chalo, Chalo, have a snack to make you strong.


I can’t, I can’t, I’m late for class, I must walk and run and skip very fast.

(huffing and puffing)

Scene 6 At school


Chalo, Chalo, tell the class what gives us energy.


I can’t, I can’t, I’m fast asleep.



Background information for teachers

Snacks are foods and drinks taken between the main meals. They supply the body with the energy and nutrients it needs between meals. Pupils should be encouraged to take nutritious snacks, especially during school break. These can quickly stop them feeling hungry.

The lesson concentrates on snacks at break time. Encourage pupils to ask their families for something to bring to school, and to prepare their own snacks at home. Another possibility is to provide an early morning snack at school. Discuss this idea with parents/guardians and sponsors.


Pupils should be able to:

Time: 30 minutes

Teaching/learning aids

Feedback on homework

Ask children what their families said about breakfast. If you have not been able to speak to parents about breakfast, use this moment to find out their reactions.

Activity 17

Children look at the picture. Read out the words under the picture. Ask them what they think the children are having (bananas, sweet potato, munkoyo).

Ask what other foods they eat and drink for snacks in school at break time. (Some are in the pictures on the next page, but ask for others). As they say them, write them up all over the board, or get volunteers to do this.

Which do they like best?


This is a long Reading, but children have already seen most of the words.

Ask them to look at the names of the snacks in the Reading and call them out, in any order. When they call one which is also on the board, rub it out.

Lead in to the Reading with these two questions:

Extra activity

If there is time, do this role-play. It may also give you some insight into children’s lives and viewpoints.

  • The class imagines a house in the morning. (The classroom door is the house door)

  • Two children are leaving for school. What are their names? (Ask who would like to be the two children and put them into position at the door)

  • Is the father there? Is the mother there? Who else is there? What are they doing? (Who would like to be these people? Put the other "actors" into position)

  • The children ask for food to take to school. What do they say? (Collect some ideas from the class)

  • What do the other people say (father, mother etc.)? (Collect a few ideas)

  • What happens in the end?

  • Ask the "actors" to role-play the whole scene.

  • Ask the other children to comment.

  • Other groups can role-play their own scene if there is time, or prepare one for homework.

Ask yourself

Demonstrate asking yourself these questions and answering them. Then ask pupils to ask themselves the questions silently, and answer them in the same way. They should then copy the box in their books and complete it for themselves. Go around and look at their answers. Ask if they do bring food to school.

If you find that a lot of pupils don’t bring any food to school, take up this question with the PTA, PCSC or other meeting with parents and guardians. Explain that snacks make a big difference to how children learn because they give them energy during the morning, and discuss what can be done to make sure children have something to eat. Also talk about washing hands before eating and cleaning teeth after eating.


Ask for a volunteer to write the Remember message on a piece of paper, display it in the classroom and read it out. On the opposite side write the title of the lesson. Get other pupils to give some examples.


Ask pupils to choose one of the two homeworks. Discuss

a) what snack they will bring tomorrow
b) what snack they can prepare at home for themselves.

Make sure to check that children do try to bring snacks to school the next day.

Maintain the initiative by having a "snack check" once a week, getting pupils to share snacks with each other, bringing up the question at the PTA/PCSC, or getting local nutritionists or housewives to demonstrate nutritious snacks.


Background information for teachers

Some eating practices can help or hinder healthy eating. For example:

Washing hands before meals. Sometimes everyone washes in the same water, with the children last. This means that children wash their hands in dirty water, which can contaminate their food and make them ill.

Portions for men. Sometimes the men eat separately and take most of the relish for themselves, leaving the children with very little. Children need as much relish as adults.

Plates. If everyone eats from the same plate children often don’t get a fair portion and no-one notices. If they have their own plates, everyone can see if they are getting enough to eat.

There may be social reasons for these behaviours, for example respect for elders, the status of men, and the perceived role of children. Challenging these practices directly may make people angry.

This lesson aims to make children aware of the differences in how people eat and the reasons for their behaviour, so that they can make their own choices as far as possible.


Pupils should be able to:

Time: 30 minutes

Teaching/learning aids

Feedback on homework

Ask children to tell what snacks they have brought from home, or to tell the class how they prepared snacks at home.


Say we will talk about how people eat meals at home. In answer to the questions in the book, children briefly tell or show what is normally done.

Who prepares and cooks? Who helps? (usually girls) Who serves?
What do people do before eating? (e.g. wash hands, get plates)
Where do people eat? Do they all eat together? (e.g. on mats, men separately)
What do they eat with? (e.g. plates, fingers, knives)
What do they do after eating? (e.g. clear up, wash pots and plates)

Activity 18

Two families are shown in the picture, with different eating habits (some of these habits are part of the discussion and some are just part of the social picture). Children should look at the pictures in pairs and say how they are different - e.g.

Picture A:

men eating separately, people wash their hands in a common bowl, all have their own plates

Picture B:

all eating together, from the same bowl/pot; washing hands with running water

Children can then say if their family is like Mule’s or Muke’s, and in what ways.


Ask pupils to read the words under the first picture to each other. What can they see in the picture that is described in the Reading? Do the same for the second picture.

Question pupils on three aspects (handwashing, plates and helping) and ask their own preferences - e.g. How do they wash their hands in Mule’s family? And in Muke’s family? Which do you prefer? Why? Try to get good reasons on both sides (e.g. washing in the same bowl shows respect for elders, but is not so hygienic). Make sure that the important reasons get attention.

Ask yourself

Demonstrate asking yourself these questions and answering them. E.g. Well, I prefer to cook for myself. I don’t like to have help. I like to eat together with my family. I prefer to wash with running water (etc.) What about you? Give pupils the opportunity to ask themselves these questions. Look at the words in the box and ask if they can read them. Point out that they must choose the sentences which apply to them personally. Then they copy and complete the box in their exercise books.

Go round and look at their answers.

If a lot of pupils don’t have their own plates, take up this question in a tactful way with the PTA, PCSC or the School Health and Nutrition Committee - it’s important!


Ask for a volunteer to write the Remember message on a piece of paper or cardboard, display it in the classroom and read it aloud. On the opposite side write the title of the lesson. Ask the class to give examples.


For homework, pupils ask their families about good and bad eating habits. Give some examples from your own experience if possible - for example, chewing your food well, showing your appreciation.


At the end of the chapter ask for volunteers to read out all the four Remember messages to the class. After each message is read, ask pupils to call out the examples (as they have practised doing) and ask them why the message is so important.

Event track (optional)

You may wish to organize a final "event" to recycle and publicize the messages of the lessons. This can be a performance in class, or put on for parents/guardians or other classes, or be part of an Open Day. Here are some ideas relating to this chapter.

  1. Build up the role-play in the Activity in Lesson 1. Seven children hold up big letters on cards in a row to make the word V-A-R-I-E-T-Y. "Variety is good", they chorus. Then act out the breakfast scenes, adding a little dialogue for each day. Train one pupil as a commentator to introduce and describe the action. At the end get the chorus to chant all the foods mentioned, then finish with the days of the week and the word VARIETY ("Monday - V" (holding up the letter), "Tuesday - A" (holding up the letter), "Wednesday - R" etc.). A final chorus says "EAT A VARIETY OF FOODS!".

  2. Pupils make "snack cards", with the name of a snack and a picture and form them into a display. Pupils stand by the display in pairs. One rearranges the cards [e.g. to show which snacks are tastiest, which are most expensive and so on] and the other explains what the first is doing.

  3. Pupils expand and develop the role-play from Lesson 3 into a small play which can be performed for families. Four scenes can show

a) children finishing breakfast and taking snacks
b) children with no breakfast and parents/guardians too busy to give snacks
c) the first children full of energy at school
d) the second lot of children falling asleep at school because they have no energy and are hungry.

  1. A teacher introduces the characters from the chant "Chalo needs breakfast" then pupils perform the chant, using real food.

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