Health and Nutrition Lesson Plan: Learning Healthy Eating Habits With Junk Food Jack and Healthy Harry
October or November is the perfect time of year to make these simple puppets from 4L milk jugs, white jugs or blue bleach jugs (great color for unhealthy Junk Food Jack puppet). With so many Halloween treats around, this is a great time to remind students about eating healthy and limiting the junk food. My students loved telling the puppets not to eat so much junk food. They also loved trying to convince Healthy Harry to eat more junk food. It’s great to hear a student talk like Healthy Harry telling other students why he hates junk food. Great role playing!
- Learning what’s junk food and what’s healthy food.
- Drama (acting like Junk Food Jack or Healthy Harry, saying what you think they would say)
- 2 milk jugs, one made into Healthy Harry and one made into Junk Food Jack (see method below)
- Empty chocolate bar wraps, chip bags, candy boxes (junk food)
- small clay or plasticene or plastic models of fruit, bread, veggies, meat/fish, cheese/glass of milk, dried kidney beans (SMALL ENOUGH TO FIT IN MOUTH OF Harry or Jack)
- empty toothpaste tube
- white felt for teeth and eyes, beige for nose, red for lips, black for hair and eye pupil, blue for eye iris
- white glue to stick felt on jugs
- scissors for cutting out felt pieces
- Make Healthy Harry by gluing on eyes with white healthy pupils, nose, and cut out about 3″ X 4″ mouth, trimmed with red lips, hair (I held the jug upside down, holding the handle at the back of the head, then used the flat bottom of the jug for Harry’s hair, added eyes, nose, lips, white teeth (all made of felt), cutting out a mouth large enough that I could “feed” it healthy food and reach in and take it out later.) Junk Food Jack is made the same way but his hair is messy, his eyes are yellow and his lips are pink (pale). Have some yellow felt (teeth) hanging over the edge of his mouth, outlining his teeth with black lines (rotten teeth). The idea is that Harry looks healthy and Jack looks pale and sickly. THEY ARE VERY EASY TO MAKE.
- Introduce students to Junk Food Jack. Then hold him up and talk like him. “Hi everybody. I’m Jack. People call me Junk Food Jack. Do you know why?” Let the students answer “cuz you like junk food?” “That’s right, I looooooove junk food. Chips, chocolate bars. I hate, hate, hate fruit and veggies.” Feed him some junk (put wrappers and boxes of candies in his mouth). He says stuff like “Oh boy, chocolate bars. I love candy.” Feed him some healthy food and hear him say “yuck this tastes awful. It’s too hard to chew. My teeth hurt.” Talk to students about the dentist and the importance of brushing, flossing, etc.
- Introduce Healthy Harry. Hold Harry up and let him talk to the students. “Hi everybody. I’m Harry. People call me Healthy Harry. Can you guess why?” Let students tell you that he likes to eat good, healthy food. “I love apples. They taste so good and there’s so many different kinds. I love the way they crunch, I love eating them with cheese, or with peanut butter. Anybody else loooooove apples?” Have the students tell him how much they love apples and ask them what kinds they like. Talk about how crunchy food cleans your teeth and keeps them strong. Feed Harry some more good, healthy food, talking about how they have vitamins and minerals that your body needs to keep healthy. Talk about Harry’s beautiful teeth and how they don’t hurt him and he has a beautiful smile. Feed Harry some junk food. He might like a little. Feed him more. He might not like it at all. “Yuck. I don’t feel very good. I ate too much junk. My tummy hurts.” You can talk about overdoing junk food eating. You can help Harry brush his teeth after he eats. Harry can introduce the Food Guide and talk about drinking milk, eating veggies, etc.
- Students can volunteer to “act” as Healthy Harry, expressing their love of good foods, telling everyone what their favourite foods are, or “act” as Junk Food Jack, telling how much they love junk food, or hate certain things. You can let them know that moderation is fine, as long as they don’t go overboard and they brush afterwards.
- When class discussion is over, Healthy Harry and Junk Food Jack and the pretend healthy foods, the empty candy wrappers, and the toothbrush and toothpaste can be put in a centre for students to “act out” as Jack or Harry, feeding them appropriately, or converting Jack to a good food diet.