What are you eating?

Age Group: Early Childhood

Focuses for this Unit

  • Being healthy
  • Food choices
  • Healthy foods
  • Providing information about healthy foods and food options.


Originally the word ‘lunch’ described a lump of bread, meat or bacon and a drink. Today, people in Australia come from many parts of the world and eat many different foods for lunch. Students may notice that other students eat different foods at lunchtime – and may comment on this (not always politely!). Students may also wonder what their families are eating at lunchtime – or even want to go home because their families are having something special for lunch.


This unit of work is designed for students in early childhood (typically 4 to 8 years old) and explores the food that different people eat during the day and the nutritional balance of the food.


Some of the students may not bring their lunch to school and may either order it from the canteen or not eat anything.

It is important that students are not embarrassed or shamed by reactions of others to the food that they eat, their family preferences, their own food choices or diets they may need to follow for health reasons e.g. diabetes. Teachers will need to be attentive to derogatory remarks from other students and discuss food choices sensitively.

Some of the activities in this unit require the students to handle food.

Teachers will need to consider food safety issues in relation to food selection, storage and preparation. These activities include a link to the Food Safety Fact Sheet which reviews the key information about safe food preparation. Teachers are encouraged to ensure that students are familiar with this information before any food preparation takes place and continue to review it throughout the unit.

Key Nutrition concepts addressed in this Unit

  • People can be, and feel, healthy.
  • Some food is healthy.
  • There are many factors affecting food choices.
  • We can communicate with others about healthy food.
  • Foods can be classified according to the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating.
  • Lunch foods can be prepared in different ways.
  • There is a wide variety of foods that we can eat at lunch.
  • Different people choose to eat different foods.
  • Food choices have changed over time.

Key Food Safety Concepts

  • Food safety is a key factor in planning of food preparation
  • Food needs to be prepared safely.
  • Food needs to be stored safely before and after preparation.


The Assessment Rubric for the Early Childhood units will help you to make judgements about the extent to which students demonstrate the learning outcomes.

Learning Outcomes Learning Experiences
  • OLO1 Using language
  • HPE4 Interpersonal skills
  • HPE 5 Self-management skills
  • E9: Writing
  • TE3 Information
  • Throughout
  • Food cards (1.1, 2.4, 3.1, 5.4, 7.1)
  • Information products (1.3, 2.3, 4.3, 4.4, 5.3, 5.4, 7.4)
  • Food stories (3.2)
  • Food songs (8.1, 8.2, 8.3)
  • OLO3: Finding out
  • S1: Working scientifically
  • TE1:Technology process
  • SE1: Investigation, communication and participation
  • Interviewing (1.2. 6.1, 6.2, 7.1)
  • Investigations (3.2)
  • Food fair (8.4)
  • OLO5: Identifying patterns and relationships
  • M12,13,14: Chance and data
  • SE7: Time, continuity and change
  • Sorting cards (1.2)
  • Identifying preferences (1.4, 7.3)
  • Pie charts (4.1, 4.2, 6.3, 7.2)
  • OLO7: Understanding the world
  • TE1: Technology process
  • TE2: Materials
  • TE5: Enterprise
  • SE1: Investigation, communication and participation
  • S9: Natural and processed materials
  • Properties of food (3.1, 3.2)
  • Inventing a card game (3.3, 3.4)
  • Recipes (4.2)
  • Interviewing (6.1, 6.2, 7.1)
  • Theories (6.4)
  • Changing lunch patterns (7.3)
  • Food fair (8.4)
  • OLO8: Active Australian citizenship
  • TE7: Technology in society
  • SE4: Culture
  • Changing lunch patterns (7.1, 7.2, 7.3, 7,4)
  • OLO10: Being and keeping mentally and physically well
  • HPE1: Knowledge and understandings
  • HPE2: Attitudes and values
  • S8: Life and living
  • Own preferences (1.4)
  • Investigating health (2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4)
  • Inventing a card game (3.3, 3.4)
  • Recipes (4.2)
  • Different food needs (5.1, 5.2)
  • OLO12: Working alone and with others
  • E5,6: Speaking and listening
  • HPE4: Self-management skills
  • HPE5: Interpersonal Skills
  • Throughout