My Body: Digestive System and Nutrition Unit with Free Printables

We have had so much fun learning about the digestive system and nutrition this week.  My body units are always such a success with the kiddos.  When activities are combined with free printables, everyone wins!

In this unit you will find activities and printables for every main subject area and then some.  My husband and I worked extremely hard to create a well-balanced unit study that will work for typical children and also those with special needs, including special dietary needs.
My Body:  Digestive System and Nutrition Unit for kids with free printables
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Here's what we've been up to!

Language


Food Consonant Blends
Learning blending sounds using names of foods. (free printable)
A nutrition unit is the perfect opportunity to study food.  These cards include names of foods that include the blends: ch, sh, th, and qu.  I specifically chose some foods that were a little different to develop vocabulary at the same time.

Source:  I created the printable for this activity as part of my Nutrition Printable Pack 1. For your free copy, click on the subscriber's link at the bottom of the post.  This printable is a subscribers only freebie.  If you are already a subscriber, you will find a link to it in my most recent newsletter.

Food Compound Words
Learning about compound words using foods (free printable).
Many foods have names that are compound words.  In this activity the kiddos will match up word strips to create the compound words on the control cards.

Source: I created this printable as part of my Nutrition Printable Pack 1.  For your free copy, click on the subscriber's link at the bottom of this post.  This printable is a subscribers only freebie.  If you are already a subscriber, you will find the link in my most recent newsletter.

Digestive System and Nutrition Etiquette
Digestive system and nutrition etiquette sorting activity.
This activity is a cross between a language and grace and courtesy lesson, as it requires reading skills and focuses on etiquette related to bodily functions and mealtime.  There are four title cards:

  • Things I Can Say When I Need to Go to the Bathroom
  • Things I Can Say When I Don't Like Something
  • Things I Can Say if I Fart or Burp in Front of Others
  • Things I Can Say During Meals
The kiddos sort the phrase cards and put them under the proper title card.  Everyone has enjoyed this activity and are applying the phrases to everyday situations which is great.

Source: The printable for this activity can be purchased from And Next Comes L, as part of a Social Scripts Mini Flip Book Bundle.  This bundle consists of 16 title cards with multiple phrase cards for each scenario.  These are a perfect addition to a Montessori Grace and Courtesy Lesson, or used as an aid to those with autism or other special needs.

Math


Grocery Shopping Addition
Adding simple money amounts (free printable).
The kiddos do so well at addition now, whether it's simple or there is carry over.  However, until this week, they haven't worked with dollar signs and decimals.  Thankfully the symbols didn't scare them off.  They did a fabulous job and are now confident adding money.

Source:  I created the printable for this activity as part of my Nutrition Printable Pack 1. For your free copy, click on the subscriber's link at the bottom of this post.  This printable is a subscribers only freebie.  If you are a subscriber already, you will find the link in my most recent newsletter.

Finding Equal Fractions
Finding equal fractions (free printable)
This is the favorite activity on the shelves this week. Who knew fractions could be so fun?  In this activity the kiddos are trying to find equal fractions using the fraction tower cubes provided.  They really have had such a blast with this!

Source: I created the printable for this activity as part of my Nutrition Printable Pack 1. For your free copy, click on the subscriber's link at the bottom of the post.  This is a subscribers only freebie.  If you're a subscriber already, you will find the link in my most recent newsletter.

Weighing Beans
Weighing beads activity.
Does one cup of dried beans weigh the same amount as a bag of kidney beans, lentils, or split peas?  This is what the kiddos are finding out using our balance scale.  I love this activity because it is a math and Practical Life activity combined.

Science and Culture


Food Group Sort
Sorting foods by food group (free printable).
In this activity the kiddos sort food items by food group.  There are also informational cards for each food group.  All of kiddos had a very enjoyable time with this activity and sincerely showed such a desire to learn.  I loved watching them talk about each food card.

Source:  I created the printable for this activity as part of my Nutrition Printable Pack 1. For your free copy, click on the subscriber's link at the bottom of this post.  This is a subscribers only freebie. If you are a subscriber already, you will find the link in my most recent newsletter.

Parts of Digestive System Match Up
Parts of the digestive system match up (free printable).
Nutrition and digestion go hand in hand, hence why we're studying them at the same time.  The kiddos have matched up body part cards with description cards.  They really have enjoyed learning about what each part of the body does to help with digestion.

Source: I created this printable as part of my Digestive System Printable Pack 1. For your free copy, click on the subscriber's link at the bottom of this post.  This is a subscribers only freebie.  If you are a subscriber already, you will find the link in your most recent newsletter.

Digestive System Cutting Activity
Parts of the digestive system cutting activity (free printable)
Besides using the cards above, I wanted the kiddos to understand where each part of the digestive system is in the body.  In this activity, the kiddos cut out the strips of paper at the bottom of the page and glue them in the correct spots. I printed out an answer sheet as a control.  I love that this activity teaches science and practical life skills at the same time.

Source:  This free printable can be found at Living Life and Learning.

My Plate Placemat Coloring Activity
My plate placemat coloring activity (free printable)

As the kiddos learned about each of the food groups, we decided to put our new found knowledge to use.  Each kiddo drew pictures of meals they would eat using the template print out.  They had so much fun, and felt so confident after knowing that they could eat a healthy meal (if they wanted).

Source: The free printable for this activity can be found here.  

Sensorial and Practical Life

I Spy:  Vegetables
I Spy:  Vegetable activity (free printable)
Over the summer my kiddos, particularly Bulldozer and Princess expressed an interest in I Spy activities.  This inspired me to do some digging. I found this one which is absolutely perfect for our nutrition unit.

Source:  The free printable for this activity can be found at And Next Comes L.

Transferring Fruit
Transferring fruit using tongs.
The kiddos had fun with this transfer activity.  It was far more difficult than they expected due to the shape of the jars and the size of the tweezers.  Still, they practiced every day.  Fruits for this activity are from our Super Sorting Pie.

Making Healthy Choices
Making healthy choices daily checklist (free printable)
Charts vary as one child has only filled in breakfast items and the others have filled in lunch choices as well.
Now I must confess after you've seen all of our fun and fabulous activities that I was petrified about this unit.  And after the first day, I was even more worried.  I had no idea how the kiddos would respond to the information with all of the food issues related to sensory sensitivities and other special dietary needs.  Sure enough they surprised me.

After teaching about all of the food groups and daily requirements, I introduced this Making Healthy Choices daily checklist along with the most recent food pyramid.  Everyone "practiced" with their own checklist for a couple days to observe their habits.  The results were quite surprising.

Then, after a couple of days we went to the grocery store and picked up everything we would need to help the kiddos be successful with their charts.  It's been a week now and the kiddos are still using them.  They're not freaking out if they go over daily limits or if they don't get enough, but they're striving to follow the guidelines as closely as they can.

Even Jason and I are using the sheets as they're perfect for helping us with weight loss goals.

Source: The free printable for this activity can be found at Family Food and Faith.

We have had so much fun learning about the digestive system and nutrition.  The experience was much more pleasant than I thought it would be.  I'm so impressed with how receptive the kiddos have been to it all.  Learning about this stuff can be fun!

For those interested in the free printables click on the link to subscribe below.

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If you enjoyed this post, you may also enjoy the following.
When Food Is Your Child's Enemy-How to help children who struggle with special dietary needs and/or sensory issues related to food.

Montessori-inspired practical life with food activities for kids.

A Montessori-inspired kitchen set up for kids.

Human body learning activities and free printables for kids.

In the kitchen learning activities and free printables for kids

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