Eggs 101


Where do your eggs come from?

Many Americans never learned how eggs end up in grocery stores, where chickens live, how egg farmers care for their hens or what egg farmers do to protect the land, air and water around their farms. A lot happens before eggs are sold, and understanding responsible farming practices used on today’s modern egg farms educates both today and tomorrow’s consumers.

Eggs 101 is a series of short videos telling the story of how eggs travel from the hen house to our plates. The videos are intended for 4th to 8th-grade level classroom use. Each video gives an in-depth explanation of a segment of an egg’s journey, beginning with the barn experience and environmental management, and ending with the egg itself as it arrives in homes nationwide.

We have created an Eggs 101 teacher’s guide for these videos which includes quizzes, lesson plans, and activities that supports national learning standards in science and social studies.


Download the teacher’s guide here

Video review quizzes for students appear after each video.


For Economics lessons on eggs, go here.





A brief explanation of the laying, cleaning, and packaging steps for eggs prior to reaching homes nationwide.



Hen houses have greatly evolved over time and are still evolving today. There are many different styles of barns, but each designed to keep hens safe and healthy.



It is important to keep things out of the barn that can make hens sick. Egg farmers place high importance on biosecurity and require farm workers and visitors to follow strict rules when entering the farm.



There are many different species of hens, but each have a similar lifestyle and produce eggs with the same genetic make-up and nutritional value.



A hen’s biological makeup is what allows her to produce many eggs in her lifetime.



Hens in the United States produce up to 75 Billion eggs per year. Eggs can vary in size, but each contains the same three parts and contain an abundance of nutrients.





Eggs go through many different steps during the few days prior to reaching the grocery store to ensure they’re safe. Consumers also play an important role in safe egg handling practices.



Egg farmers work hard to recycle resources used in their barns. Over the past fifty years, egg farmers have been able to greatly reduce their environmental footprint by following strict environmental management guidelines.

MyPlate Activity

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to:

  • Describe the five food groups on MyPlate.
  • Build a balanced breakfast with at least three out of the five food groups from MyPlate.
  • Describe different examples of a balanced breakfast.
  • Explain the benefits of eating a healthy balanced breakfast.


This lesson centers on the MyPlate Plan – from the USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, which encourages people to find a healthy eating style by eating meals made from the five food groups—fruits, vegetables, dairy, proteins and grains.

MyPlate depicts a place setting with a plate and glass divided into five food groups.


Benefits of Breakfast

Numerous research studies show that students who eat breakfast—either at school or home—have better academic performance and behavior.1 When children eat better, they learn better. A well-balanced breakfast, rich in protein, whole grains, fruits/vegetables and low-fat/fat-free milk gives children the energy they need to learn and stay active. Breakfast options that include eggs present opportunities to include other nutrient-dense foods encouraged by the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, such as vegetables and whole grains. Egg consumption by American children and adolescents is associated with intake of several nutrients, including higher protein, polyunsaturated, monounsaturated and total fat, α-linolenic acid, docosahexaenoic acid, choline, lutein + zeaxanthin, vitamin D, potassium, phosphorus, and selenium.2


Classroom MyPlate Activity


Materials Needed:

1 Large basket, bucket or another vessel

Cards depicting five food groups

OPTIONAL: Print out MyPlate Pick3 breakfast and lunch posters as visual aids on our Tools for Schools page


Lesson Preparation:

Print an equal number of place settings of cards (5), so there is one food group card for each student. Optimally, total number of students is divisible by five. If not, some students may have to represent more than one food group. Cut each sheet into five cards.

Each MyPlate card set includes the following groups/colors:

Place food group cards in basket/bucket, ensuring there are enough for each student to get at least one. Mix them together.

Grade level: 2nd and 3rd
Estimated time: 15 minutes



1)  Ask students if they can name the five food groups. Once all the food groups are identified, ask the students to name some foods that fit into each group.

    • Fruits
      Any fruit or 100% fruit juice counts as part of the Fruit Group. Fruits may be fresh, canned, frozen, or dried, and may be whole, cut-up, or pureed.
    • Vegetables
      Any vegetable or 100% vegetable juice counts as a member of the Vegetable Group. Vegetables may be raw or cooked; fresh, frozen, canned, or dried/dehydrated; and may be whole, cut-up, or mashed.
    • Dairy
      All fluid milk products and many foods made from milk are considered part of this food group. Foods made from milk that retain their calcium content are part of the group. Foods made from milk that have little to no calcium, such as cream cheese, cream, and butter, are not. Calcium-fortified soymilk (soy beverage) is also part of the Dairy Group.
    • Proteins
      All foods made from eggs, meat, poultry, seafood, beans and peas, processed soy products, nuts and seeds are considered part of the Protein Group.
    • Grains
      Any food made from wheat, rice, oats, cornmeal, barley or another cereal grain is a grain product. Bread, pasta, oatmeal, breakfast cereals, tortillas, and grits are examples of grain products. Grains are divided into 2 subgroups, Whole Grains and Refined Grains

2) Introduce MyPlate briefly, and the importance of a balanced meal, including the different food groups—especially protein, like eggs. (MyPlate posters can be a good visual aid.)


3) Next, have students pull one food group card from the basket. Once everyone has a card, have the students form groups of five—each student in a group must have a different color/food group card. (If the number of students is not divisible by five, either have the extra students double up in one of the other groups or give the smaller group the extra cards needed to cover all five food groups.)


4) When students are in groups, have them share which food group they have—whether it’s protein, grain, fruit, veggies or dairy. Then ask them to create a well-balanced breakfast plate with at least three out of the five food group cards. Students can suggest foods for a meal from the food group(s) they represent.


5) Finish with final thoughts on MyPlate.

    • Emphasize how eating a balanced breakfast can help them grow and learn better.
    • Eating breakfast gives them energy.
    • High-quality protein options, like eggs, are important to help them stay full, so they can focus on their schoolwork.
    • Did you know? Eggs have protein and important nutrients that help you stay focused in school!
    • Eggs can be eaten any time for breakfast, lunch, dinner or snacks.

Suggested Companion Resources

MyPlate Graphic

Educational Handouts For Parents
Eat Better. Learn Better. with School Breakfast

Eggucational Fun & Games For The Classroom
Egg Nutrition Memory Card Game

  1. Food Research & Action Center, Research Brief: Breakfast for Learning. This brief was originally prepared in September 2011 and updated in the spring of 2014 by FRAC’s Madeleine Levin, MPH, Senior Policy Analyst. This brief was updated again in October 2016 by FRAC’s Heather Hartline-Grafton, DrPH, RD, Senior Nutrition Policy and Research Analyst.

  2. Papanikolaou, Y. and V.L. Fulgoni, 3rd, Egg Consumption in U.S. Children is Associated with Greater Daily Nutrient Intakes, including Protein, Lutein + Zeaxanthin, Choline, alpha-Linolenic Acid, and Docosahexaenoic Acid. Nutrients, 2019. 11(5).

Egg Nutrition Memory Game

The Memory Game is a fun game that most students already know how to play. And if not, it’s easy to learn. This Egg Nutrition Memory Game version adds an extra layer of learning, explaining the nutritional benefits of eggs.


Build a Deck

To build your own deck of Egg Nutrition Memory Cards, download the design files (.jpg) and send to a professional printer or download the attached 8.5 x 11″ file (.pdf) and print two copies on your own printer using Avery postcards #3380.

Please note: The cards are double-sided, and for a single deck, you will need to print two copies of each of the seven game cards.

Memory Game Instructions


First, ask students to raise their hand if they’ve ever played a memory card game before.

Ask one of the students ‘in the know’ to explain to the rest of the class how to play.

If no one knows how to play, tell them it’s a matching game wherein all the cards are shuffled and then laid face down, side by side. Each person takes a turn to try and match until all the cards are matched. The one with the most matches at the end wins.


Then explain:

The cards in this memory game will explain to you why eggs are nutritious. As you play, make sure to read the cards, so you’ll be ready to tell us why eggs can be good for us and our bodies.

Once you’ve made all the matches, you can play again, if there’s still time.

In 10 minutes, we’ll stop playing to see what you learned about eggs from reading the cards.


Ask: Can anyone tell me something they learned about Eggs?

Keep your tummy full longer


Ask: And what did you learn about breakfast?

Gives you energy
Helps you learn better

  1. National Cancer Institute. Usual dietary intakes: food intakes, US population, 2007–10. Available at


  3. Sievenpiper JL, Kendall CWC, et al. Effect of non-oil-seed pulses on glycaemic control: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled experimental trials in people with and without diabetes. Diabetologia.2009;52:1479–1495.


  5. Fuller N, et al. Effect of a high-egg diet on cardiometabolic risk factors in people with type 2 diabetes: the Diabetes and Egg (DIABEGG) Study—randomized weight-loss and follow-up phase. Am J Clin Nutr. 2018;107:1-11.

  6. Sabaté J, Oda K, Ros E. Nut Consumption and Blood Lipid Levels: A Pooled Analysis of 25 Intervention Trials. Arch Intern Med. 2010;170(9):821-827.

More Articles You’ll Love

Cook & Learn Videos


Developed specifically for grades six through 12, our Cook & Learn video series educates students about the incredible nutritional benefits of eggs and provides step-by-step demonstrations of basic and advanced egg cooking techniques. The videos are narrated and feature school nutrition professional, Chef Robert Rusan of the Maplewood Richmond Heights School District in Maplewood, Mo. Use them as in-class learning tools.


Basic Cooking

Advanced Cooking

Eggs 101

Egg Science

Virtual Egg Farm Field Trips


Since 2012, the American Egg Board has partnered with Discovery Education to bring modern egg farms into today’s classrooms through Virtual Egg Farm Field Trips. Join America’s egg farmers in exploring their farms!


Hertzfeld Poultry Farm

Egg farms, like many others, are rising to the challenge of operating more sustainably. As a fourth-generation family farm in Grand Rapids, Ohio, Tom Hertzfeld II and his family understands the importance of sustainability and managing their ecological footprint. Learn how they conserve and protect the natural resources they rely on to produce eggs.


For students K-5


For Students 6-8

Creighton Brothers Farms

Explore the ecosystem and food webs of an egg farm and discover how all parts — from the soil to plants to hens to humans — relate to and depend on one another. Plus, learn why this five-generation family farm in Warsaw, Indiana, believes high-quality animal care and environmental stewardship are critical to their business, community and world.


For students K-5


For Students 6-8

Pearl Valley Eggs

Meet Dave and Ben Thompson, the father-and-son team, behind Pearl Valley Eggs in Illinois. Take a look at their feed mill and pullet barn and learn how egg farmers are working hard to be environmentally friendly and sustainable.


Willamette Egg Farms

At Willamette Egg Farms in Oregon, Gordon and Greg Satrum, also father and son, take viewers inside their scenic third-generation egg farm for a better look at how eggs move from their farm to our tables.


Hickman’s Family Farm

AEB’s inaugural Virtual Farm Field Trip kicked off at Hickman’s Family Farms in Arizona. Brother and sister Clint and Sharman Hickman are part of the farm’s third generation. Explore their hen house and egg processing plant, robots included!


Success Stories

Real School Success Stories

Stories of nutritious success from school districts around the country


Sharing the Power of Nutrition
The Nutrition Services Department in the Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District (CFISD) in Houston has what might seem a daunting task – serving more than 113,000 meals daily or approximately 20 million meals per year on 91 campuses.
Crowing about School Breakfast Leads to Visit by Governor
Let’s just say, when you live in Iowa, the No. 1 egg-producing state in the nation, you’re probably not averse to a little crowing in the morning. 
Dallas Eggspands Menus

Texas is known for diving into things in a big way, and the Food and Child Nutrition Services (FCNS) team in the Dallas Independent School District is no different.

Getting Real at Breakfast

To jumpstart breakfast uptake at schools with low participation numbers in the San Diego Unified School District, the food services team introduced The Real Deal Breakfast Sandwich as a limited-time offer (LTO).

Rising to Eggcellence

At Tennessee’s Tullahoma City Schools, Director of Nutrition, Angela Cardwell, says, “Our mission is to provide all students with the opportunity to obtain an excellent education.”

Breakfast Sandwiches “Hot” Item in Texas School District

Studies show students perform better when their hunger is satisfied

“Flipping the Script” on School Breakfast
Breakfast is supposed to be nourishing, comforting, satisfying and a bit exciting. Unfortunately, the perception of school breakfast is often the exact opposite. 
Greenville County Schools Go Green with New Salads

Eggs-perience goes a long way

Better Behavior Linked to Protein Snacks? One School Says So

Recently a school district in Iowa published the results of a program called “The Protein Intervention” that substituted protein-based snacks for the carbohydrate-based snacks typically given to hungry students.
Farm to School Eggs & Chefs Partner with Local Schools
Small but mighty, this Maine district offers programs and events regularly throughout the year, connecting students with the community and local agriculture.
Creating Egg-centric Recipes, One Crack at a Time

Lakeside Union School District is always experimenting with new and creative ways to meet school nutrition requirements without sacrificing quality and taste.

Locally-Sourced Ingredients Wrapped In Success

Greeley-Evans School District 6 in Greeley, Colorado is proud to serve Breakfast Burritos (made with local ingredients) to their students once a week.

(HACCP Process #2)

Sausage, Egg & Cheese Pretzel Brunch

Sausage, Egg & Cheese Pretzel Brunch

(HACCP Process #2)

Yield:100 servings (1 sandwich, 6.7 oz., 190 g)



(HACCP Process #2)

Meal Equivalencies: 2.75 oz. eq. meat/meat alternate, 1/4 cup dark green vegetable, 1/4 cup other vegetable, 1/4 cup red/orange vegetable, 1/4 cup starchy vegetable

Protein-Packed Veggie Salad

Protein-Packed Veggie Salad

(HACCP Process #2)

Meal Equivalencies: 2.75 oz. eq. meat/meat alternate, 1/4 cup dark green vegetable, 1/4 cup other vegetable, 1/4 cup red/orange vegetable, 1/4 cup starchy vegetable

Yield:20 servings (1 salad, 8.7 oz., 247 g, 1 oz. dressing)



(HACCP Process #2)

Huevos Rancheros Brunch-for-Lunch

Huevos Rancheros Brunch-for-Lunch

(HACCP Process #2)

Yield:100 servings (1 piece, 8.2 oz. 231 g)