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Transcript
HEALTHY EATING ACTIVITIES
CHAPTER 1
HEALTHY EATING ACTIVITIES
The activities in this section teach the basics about the foods we eat. The first activity emphasizes the
importance of keeping food clean and safe to eat. The rest of the activities in this section introduce
the concepts of the food groups, the importance of water and other healthy drinks, and how foods
are grown. The activities in this section emphasize positive messages about the foods children need
to eat more of. Instead of labeling foods as good or bad, the activities explain how some foods are
needed everyday while others (sometimes foods) should only be occasional treats. The other goal of
this section is to create opportunities for children to become familiar with healthy choices through
games, crafts, and tasting challenges so that they will be more likely to make smart choices.
Things to remember when doing activities in this section:
• Be sure to remind children to wash their hands before snack activities and to wash fruits and vegetables when they are used to prepare snacks.
• Make sure the food allergy permission slip in the family outreach section has been filled out and
returned before giving children new foods to try.
• If you do not have the NDC Food Model Cards suggested for use in HE-2, HE-3, HE-6, and HE-9
(see Materials List in Supplementary Materials section), ask children to bring in grocery store flyers and magazines with food pictures in them and construct your own (see Constructing Your
Own Food Model Cards in the Resources section of this manual).
• “Sometimes foods” are foods that are high in added sugars and fats. Examples would be candy,
soda, chips, cookies, cake, donuts, etc. “Sometimes foods” contain a lot of calories and not many
important nutrients, so they are best eaten only sometimes as a treat, and not every day as part of a
healthy diet. There are many words used to describe this general category or type of food (junk food,
empty calories, unhealthy snacks). We try to be consistent in using the term “sometimes foods.”
There is, of course, no really clear dividing line between sometimes and everyday healthy foods.
We hope this will be part of an ongoing discussion between you, the children and your community.
30
Healthy Eating
HE-1, Page 1
31
TIME: 30 minutes
HE-1: Goodbye Dirt and Germs
GRADE: All
SUMMARY:
Children will
learn about the
importance of
washing hands
and produce and
play a tag game.
DID YOU KNOW?
Hand washing is the best way to prevent food borne illness. Some germs make
harmful toxins that are left behind on your skin. Even those popular waterless
sanitizers that kill germs may not make your hands safe enough to handle food.
You need to physically soap, rinse and wipe the germs and toxins they make off
of your hands before handling food.
MATERIALS:
• Goodbye to Things I’ve Never Seen Rhyme (provided)
• Flip chart or two large pieces of paper
• Sink area or bucket
• Soap and water
• Paper towels
• Scrub brush
• Fruits and vegetables to wash
• Tag signs provided
ACTIVITY:
Part One: Why Wash Hands?
1. Before the activity, write out the Goodbye to Things I’ve Never Seen Rhyme
on the flip chart. Write parts one and two on separate sheets of paper so that
you may use the different parts on different days.
2. Begin this activity at snack time or with a brief conversation about what the
children had for a snack today.
3. Have children imagine that their hands could talk. Ask:
• “If your hands could talk, what would they say they
have touched today?"
• “What should you always do before you eat?”
4. Explain that while we can sometimes see the dirt on our hands, germs are so
small that we cannot see them. Ask children why we want to get rid of germs.
5. Explain to children that soap and water help get rid of dirt and germs.
6. Using the sink area or a bucket with water, rinse your hands and as you dry
them, ask children if they think you removed the germs from your hands.
(No, you didn’t use soap.)
7. Quickly wash your hands with soap and as you dry your hands ask children
if they think you removed all the germs from your hands.
(No, you washed them too fast.)
8. Explain to children that the amount of time you take to wash your hands is as
important as the soap and water. One good way of making sure you take
enough time to wash you hands is by singing the ABC Song while you do it.
Healthy Eating
HE-1, Page 2
32
9. Demonstrate proper hand washing (scrubbing all the surfaces and between
your fingers) and have the group sing the ABC Song along with you.
(Grades K-2):
Introduce part one of the rhyme with hand play one line at a time. This rhyme can
be repeated on other days before snack time.
Why Wash Food?
1. Explain to children that just as we wash our hands before we eat, we should
also wash our vegetables and fruits.
2. Ask if anyone has ever seen someone pick through the vegetables and fruits at
the grocery store or if anyone has ever dropped a fruit or vegetable on the floor
at the store and then put it back on the counter.
3. Help the group make a list on the board of all the people who might have
touched fruits and vegetables on the way to their table or lunch box.
4. Explain that one reason we need to wash our fruits and vegetables is all the
dirt and germs they carry home from the store.
5. Demonstrate with brush, fruit and vegetables how to wash foods and explain
to children that we do not use soap on foods.
6. Remind children that fruits and vegetables are healthful, but we must wash
them before we eat them.
(Grades 3-5)
Introduce part two of the rhyme with hand play one line at a time. This rhyme
can be repeated on other days before fruit and vegetable snacks.
Part Two: Germ Tag
(Grades 3-5)
1. Split the children into four groups: the apples, hands, germs, and soap.
2. To help the children remember their group, use copies of the tag signs
provided and use a safety pin to attach to their clothing.
3. Mark an area of the play space off as the sink.
4. Germs can chase apples or hands. When they tag a child from either
group they must continue to run while holding hands until they are
tagged by a child from the soap group.
5. Once tagged by soap, all three children must run to the sink and
do the twist (wash) before they can rejoin the game.
6. After ten minutes or so, stop the game, have children switch signs,
remind them what each group tags, and resume play.
7. Once the children get used to the rules of the game, you can add another rule
that: Once a germ tags a hand or apple, they can tag other hands and apples.
Children must continue to hold hands with everyone they have tagged until
they are brought to the sink area by the soap. This shows how germs can
spread when you do not wash your hands.
Healthy Eating
HE-1, Page 3
33
(Grades K-2)
1. You can make the game less complicated by having only three groups.
Hands, germs, and soap (have them sing the ABC Song while they twist).
OR
Apples, germs, and scrub brush (have brush tag apple/germ pairs
and remind children we don’t use soap on food).
2. Don’t have apples or hands tag others.
Helpful Hints to help the children learn the rules:
• Remind the germs that they are only trying to tag the hands and apples.
• Remind the soaps that they can only tag a group of two or more people.
• Remind the hands and apples that they can only tag after they have
been tagged.
KEY TALKING POINTS:
1. Hands carry germs that should be washed away before eating.
2. Soap, water, and time (20 seconds) are necessary for proper germ removal.
A quick rinse, like so many people often practice, does little to remove
harmful germs.
3. Fresh produce carries dirt, germs, and pesticide sprays that should be
washed away before eating.
4. Even if we do not eat the skins of fresh fruits and vegetables, we need to
wash them because we touch the outside part of the food as we peel it,
meaning that the dirt, germs, and pesticides will get on our hands and
can transfer to the part we eat when we touch it.
5. To avoid eating soap residue, it is not necessary to use soap for
washing produce.
AT THE END OF THIS ACTIVITY, CHILDREN WILL BE ABLE TO:
1. Identify the reasons why washing hands and fresh produce is important.
2. Effectively wash hands, fruit and produce for 20 seconds.
GO FURTHER:
1. Pass out the I Washed My Hands Today sheet (provided) and give children
an incentive to complete the sheet and turn it in.
2. Send home Family Outreach Tip Sheet TS-1: Goodbye Dirt and Germs.
This tip sheet explains the importance of hand washing and washing produce,
cutting boards and other surfaces that come in contact with food. It also gives
some ideas on things to do with children.
ADAPTED FROM: Everyday Lots of Ways: An Interdisciplinary Nutrition Curriculum
for Kindergarten – Sixth Grade, Pennsylvania State Department
of Nutrition, 1996.
Healthy Eating
HE-1, Page 4
34
Goodbye to Things I’ve Never Seen
PART ONE
Rhyme
Hand Play
I wash my hands until they’re clean,
To get rid of things I’ve never seen.
I do this many times a day,
To shoo the dirt and germs away!
Pretend to wash hands.
Wave goodbye, shake head while
pointing to one eye.
Pretend to wash hands.
Make shooing motion with hands.
PART TWO
Rhyme
Hand Play
And when I eat an apple or pear,
I wash their skins with such great care.
Pretend to bring piece of fruit to mouth.
Stop and carefully rub the pretend fruit.
I do the same for vegetables too,
To keep them safe for me and you!
Pretend to use a scrub brush on a
vegetable. Cross hands over chest than
extend them straight out.
Healthy Eating
HE-1, Page 5
35
Apple
Hands
Soap
Healthy Eating
HE-1, Page 6
36
Germs
Salmonella Bacteria
(magnified hundreds of times)
ScrubBrush
HE-1, Page 7
Healthy Eating
37
I washed my hands today!
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Sunday
Cross out a hand each time you wash your hands before eating.
Healthy Eating
38
HE-1, Page 8
Healthy Eating
HE-2, Page 1
39
TIME: 20 minutes
to sort, 20 minutes
for the activities.
GRADE: All
SUMMARY:
Children will learn
what foods belong
in each of the food
groups.
HE-2: Name That Food Group
DID YOU KNOW?
Less than 5% of U.S. children eat the required quantities of foods recommended
by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. These recommendations are based on
the minimum amount of nutrients children need to grow up healthy.
MATERIALS:
• NDC Food Model Cards
(see Materials List in Supplementary Materials section)
• Food group labels (provided)
• Six to ten large envelopes or reclosable plastic bags to store sorted
food model cards
ACTIVITY: Set-up
Sorting the food model cards
• Note: If you need to make your own food model cards see Make
Your Own Food Model Cards in the Supplementary Materials
section. Then you can make cards and sort them into groups,
discussing as you go along.
(Grades K-2):
1. Choose a food group for children to sort out of the pile of food model cards.
2. Help children make three piles, foods from the chosen food group, combination foods with the food group in it, foods that are not in the food group. Mark
each pile with a food group label.
3. For example, if you chose vegetables as the food group:
• Vegetables: squash, lettuce, celery, zucchini, etc.
• “Combination Foods”: sandwich, spaghetti with tomato
sauce, chile, etc.
• Not Vegetables: fruit, meats and beans, milk, etc.
(Grades 3-5):
Divide food model cards into the food groups. Mark each pile with a food
group label (grains, fruits, vegetables, milk, meat and beans, sometimes foods,
combination foods).
(All):
When sorting is complete, put the groups into separate envelopes or bags
marked with the name of the group: Grains, Vegetables, Fruits, Meat and
Beans, Milk, Sometimes Foods, Combination Foods. For younger
students, this may take several sorting sessions. For older students or mixed
age groups, it may be completed in one session.
Healthy Eating
HE-2, Page 2
40
ACTIVITY 1: Let’s Look at the Food Groups
1. There are several parts to this activity, each of which can be done on different
days or all at once, if time permits. To give children a good handle on the
different food groups and their importance, it is best to only discuss one food
group at a time when you do this activity.
2. Choose one food group to talk about each time you do this activity.
3. Ask the children what characteristics they think a food needs to belong to the
chosen food group. Let the children look through the pile of food model cards
in the food group pile to notice similarities between the foods.
4. Write the characteristics the children name on the board (right or wrong).
5. Explain to children what makes a food belong to the chosen group (see
Key Talking Points below). As you do this, go down the list of characteristics
the children named and address each. Make a new list of food group
characteristics beside the one the children made. For example, if the children
named the following characteristics for vegetables: green, plants, bitter and
leafy, you could go down the list and comment:
• “You’re right, there are a lot of green vegetables. Can you see
the red vegetable pictures too? So it looks like vegetables are very
colorful.”
• “Yes, vegetables are plants, but there are some other plants
we eat that are not vegetables. Who can name some?”
• “Vegetables are often from different parts of a plant, like the leaves.
Who can hold up one of the leafy vegetables?”
• “Vegetables can be a little bitter, but there are sweet ones
too. Can someone hold up a sweet vegetable from the pile?
Vegetables are usually not as sweet as fruits.”
• And so on…
6. Discuss why we need to eat foods from the food group you are reviewing with
the children. Use Key Talking Points. You may also wish to review the basic
nutrition information in the Overview section of this manual.
ACTIVITY 2: Healthy Choices from the Food Groups
1. Choose a Food Group. If activity two follows directly after activity one, you can
stick with the same food group.
2. Discuss the healthy choices from the food group you are reviewing with
the children.
• For the fruit and vegetable groups, discuss the importance of eating
from the five color groups (white, red, green, blue/purple, orange/
yellow). Have children sort the foods into the color groups and talk
about their favorite foods from each.
• For the milk group talk with the children about their experiences with
low-fat milk foods and yogurt. Ask children it they have ever tried the
foods on the food model cards. What do they think about the taste of
low-fat milk?
Healthy Eating
HE-2, Page 3
41
• For the meat and beans group, sort food model cards into beans, nuts,
seeds, and meats. Discuss different types of meat and the children’s
experiences with beans, seeds, and nuts. How do they eat these foods
at home? (Examples: bean dip, trail mix, peanut butter, etc.)
• For the grain group, sort out whole grain foods from refined grains.
Discuss the different taste and texture of whole grain foods
(nutty taste and fibrous texture).
• For “sometimes foods”, sort out the fats and sweets that look like other
food groups (the sweet roll has fruit on it, milkshakes are made of
dairy products, angel food cake is made with flour like bread, French
fries are made from potatoes). Discuss why these foods should only
be eaten sometimes even though they are made with foods from other
groups (they have added fat and/or sugar).
3. Questions for discussion
• “What foods do you eat at home that belong in this food group?”
• “What’s your favorite (grain product, vegetable, etc.)?”
• “What snacks do we have from this food group?”
• “What interesting foods have you seen from this food group?”
• “What ‘combination foods’ contain something from this food group?” (etc.)
KEY TALKING POINTS:
This chart is a basic outline. You may want to refer to the Overview and References for more detailed information.
FOOD GROUP
EXAMPLES
CHARACTERISTICS
HEALTH BENEFITS
HEALTHY CHOICES
Bread
Rice
Cereal
Pasta
• From a plant
• Whole grains are high in fiber
• Provides energy
• Whole grains
provide fiber
Whole Grains:
Broccoli
Lettuce
Carrots
Sweet Potatoes
• Part of a plant (can be a root,
stem, leaf, etc.)
• High in vitamins and minerals.
• Usually eaten with meals or
as a snack
• Provides energy
• Disease prevention
• Provides nutrients
for growth and good
health
Eat from all 5 color
groups
Apples
Grapes
Plums
Raisins
• Part of a plant
• High in vitamins and minerals
• Sweeter than vegetables
• Often part of breakfast, snack,
or dessert
• Provides energy
• Disease prevention
• Provides nutrients for
growth and good
health
Eat from all 5 color
groups
Meat/Beans
Meat
Beans
Nuts
Seeds
• May be part of a plant or
an animal
• High in protein
• Provides energy and
protein for muscles,
hair, and nails
Beans
Fish
Lean cuts of meat
Milk
Eggs
Milk
Cheese
Yogurt
• From an animal
• High in calcium
• Provides energy and
calcium for strong
bones
Low fat milk
Cheese
Yogurt
Candy
Fruit Snacks
Soda
Chips
• High in fat and sugar
• Provides energy
None
Grain
Vegetables
Fruit
Sometimes
(fats/sweets)
• Brown rice
• Whole wheat breads
and pasta
• Wild rice
Healthy Eating
42
AT THE END OF THIS ACTIVITY, CHILDREN WILL BE ABLE TO:
1. Identify a food group.
2. Identify healthy choices from that food group.
GO FURTHER:
1. Send home Family Outreach Tip Sheet TS-2: Food Groups. This tip sheet
lists the five basic food groups, explains why it’s important to eat these basic
foods at most meals, and has some healthy snack recipes on the back.
2. Send home Family Outreach Tip Sheet TS-14: Quick Meals for Busy
Families. This tip sheet gives some simple, quick suggestions for preparing
Get Healthy Now Meals at at home.
3. Put together Bulletin Board 2: Food From Around the World. Where do
different foods come from? What foods do children know about from their
own family traditions? Use this display to promote sharing and discussion.
4. Put together Bulletin Board 6: Boggled. This is based on the Boggle game
for making patterns, in this case, Get Healthy Now Meals at at home.
SOURCE: Boston Medical Center, Nutrition and Fitness for Life Program, 2010.
HE-2, Page 4
Healthy Eating
HE-3, Page 1
43
HE-3: The Food Groups: It’s About Variety
TIME: 20 minutes
GRADE: 3-5
SUMMARY:
Children will choose
a balanced breakfast
based on the five
food groups.
DID YOU KNOW?
We need a variety of foods in our diet in order to grow well and stay healthy.
MATERIALS:
• Food Group Labels (provided)
• Masking tape
• NDC Food Model Cards
(see Materials List in Supplementary Materials section)
ACTIVITY:
1. Use masking tape to make six large squares on the floor. Within each square,
place a Food Group Label that has the name of a food group on it (grains,
vegetables, fruits, meat/beans, milk, sometimes foods).
2. Ask children:
• “What it would be like if you could only eat one food?”
• “Would you get bored of eating it all the time?”
• “How would this affect your health?”
3. Ask if anyone knows any of the food groups already and help children describe
each group as you point to the appropriate square on the floor.
4. Explain that for a healthy breakfast children should have food from at least
three food groups (e.g. milk, fruit, grain. See Key Talking Points below).
5. Have three children come forward and pick out three Food Model Cards that
illustrate something they could eat for breakfast, and then go stand in the
appropriate square. Ask the remaining children if the breakfast is balanced.
6. Explain that for a healthy lunch and dinner, children should have food from
four or five food groups.
7. Call five children to come up and pick out Food Model Cards that illustrate
something they could eat for lunch and go stand in the appropriate squares.
Ask the remaining children if the lunch is balanced. Continue until all children
have had a chance to participate.
KEY TALKING POINTS:
1. By eating a variety of foods we get the key nutrients (carbohydrates,
proteins, fats, fiber, vitamins, minerals and water) that we need to be active
and stay healthy.
2. Each of the five food groups supplies nutrients:
• Grains provide carbohydrates for energy. Whole grains have B
vitamins to help you use the energy you eat and fiber to keep your
digestion moving.
Healthy Eating
HE-3, Page 2
44
• Fruits and Vegetables provide vitamins, like vitamin A, which
maintains healthy skin, and eyesight and vitamin C, which helps
your wounds heal and keeps you from getting sick. These two food
groups also have fiber, which keeps your digestive system moving,
and minerals to keep you strong.
• Meats and Beans provide proteins to give you strong muscles
and help you grow.
• Milk provides calcium, a mineral needed for strong bones and teeth.
• Fats and Sweets (“sometimes foods”) are not considered a
food group. These foods have little or no health benefits and
a lot of calories.
3. Snacks should contain foods from at least two groups, breakfast should
contain foods from three groups, and lunch and dinner should contain
foods from four or five of the food groups.
AT THE END OF THIS ACTIVITY, CHILDREN WILL BE ABLE TO:
1. Identify the five food groups (grains, fruits, vegetables, meats/beans, milk)
as well as sometimes foods.
2. Recognize that a balanced meal contains foods from each of the food groups.
3. Recognize that eating a variety of foods makes eating fun.
GO FURTHER:
1. Read: Bread and Jam for Frances by Russel Hoben, Harper and Row, 1964.
(ages four to eight). A perfect antidote for children who make limited food
choices. Frances’ food jag is short-lived once her parents begin serving her
bread and jam for every meal and snack.
2. Send home Family Outreach Tip Sheet TS-2: Food Groups. This tip sheet
lists the five basic food groups, explains why it’s important to eat these basic
foods at most meals, and has some healthy snack recipes on the back.
3. Put together Bulletin Board 2: Food From Around the World. Where do
different foods come from? What foods do children know about from their
own family traditions? Use this display to promote sharing and discussion.
4. Put together Bulletin Board 6: Boggled. This is based on the Boggle game
for making patterns, in this case, Get Healthy Now meals and snack patterns.
SOURCE: Boston Medical Center, Nutrition and Fitness for Life Program, 2010.
Healthy Eating
HE-4, Page 1
45
HE-4: Tasting Chart
TIME: 10-20 minutes
(This activity can be repeated many times).
GRADE: All
SUMMARY:
Children will try new
foods and chart their
impressions of each
new food.
DID YOU KNOW?
Children may have to taste a new food up to 12 times before they know if they
like it or not. However, children are often hesitant to try new foods, so it is important
to introduce them to the idea of tasting new foods as often as possible.
MATERIALS:
• Large paper or poster board
• My Family’s Favorite Foods sheet provided
• Felt marker
• A fruit, vegetable, or whole grain for children to taste
(This activity can be repeated many times with new foods.)
ACTIVITY:
Please be sure to have all those involved in the activity properly wash their hands.
If a new food is being consumed, please make caregivers aware and receive
permission before doing this activity.
Set up:
1. Draw four columns on the poster board or paper. Title your poster
Tasting Chart. Make the first column wide enough to write the name
of a food or recipe. Make the others wide enough to write a number.
2. Write Food at the top of the first column. Draw a smiling face for the second
column, a frowning face for the third column, and a face with eyes and
a question mark where the mouth should be for the fourth column.
FOOD
?
Healthy Eating
HE-4, Page 2
46
Activity:
1. Give several examples of different types of foods and ask children why people
eat the foods they do (possible answers: taste, where they are from, what is
available).
2. Pass out My Family’s Favorite Foods sheet and have children draw or write
their family’s favorite foods from each group and combination foods. Ask if any
children would like to share the different types of food their family eats.
3. Ask children if the foods presented to the group are ones they have ever
tasted or heard of. Explain that the best way to learn about new foods is to
taste them and that they are going to make a chart of the foods they try at
snack time.
4. Each time the group tries a new snack or food tasting activity:
• Write the name of the food children tasted on the chart.
• Ask children to raise their hands if they liked the food tasted. Have
children help you count how many liked the food. Record the number
in the smiling face column.
• Then ask children to raise their hands if they did not like the food.
Record the number in the frowning face column.
• Finally, ask how many did not taste the food. Record the number in
the ? column.
5. Discuss the chart, talking about how many more people like or don't like the
food. Congratulate the children for taking a taste. Remind them that sometimes they will not like a new taste, and that's okay. What is important is for
children to be food tasters and to always give nutritious foods a try.
6. Congratulate children on the number of new foods they have tried during the
year.
7. Keep the chart in the snack area and add to it regularly as an ongoing activity.
Activity example: Vanilla Yogurt
• Obtain a carton of vanilla yogurt and small plastic spoons.
• Ask child to raise their hands if they have tasted yogurt. Let them talk
about different flavors they like.
• Ask if they have ever tasted vanilla yogurt.
• Offer children a little taste and have them describe what it tastes like.
• Chart the number of children who like, dislike, and are unsure about
the taste of yogurt.
KEY TALKING POINTS:
1. New and unfamiliar foods are often rejected at first.
2. It can take a dozen tries for a new food to be accepted so it’s important to try
new things when they are offered.
3. Once a child has tried a new food, they know what to expect, so the next time
it is more familiar. This is a process that needs to be encouraged if we want to
change children’s eating patterns.
Healthy Eating
HE-4, Page 3
47
4. Sometimes when a child claims to dislike a food, it may be because of the way
it was prepared. Over cooking certain vegetables can give them a bitter flavor.
Encourage trying vegetables raw with a low fat dip.
5. A good time to try new foods is when you are already hungry and your taste
buds are more accepting of new flavors.
AT THE END OF THIS ACTIVITY, CHILDREN WILL BE ABLE TO:
1. Try a variety of new foods.
2. Learn about different kinds of foods.
3. Identify different reasons for eating different foods.
GO FURTHER:
1. One way to get children excited about new and different foods is to discuss
interesting facts about them before tasting them (more facts are available at
dole5aday.com.) Give the children blank maps of the world and have them
draw a picture of foods discussed, showing where they come from, before
they taste them.
• Tomato is a fruit from the Andes in South America and was thought to
be poisonous when it was first discovered.
• Lima Beans are seeds from Guatemala and the Native Americans were
the first to mix them with corn and invent Succotash.
• Celery is a stalk from Italy and Northern Europe that was originally only
used as medicine.
• Carrot is a root from Afghanistan that originally had a purple color and
tasted quite bitter.
• Watermelon is a fruit from Africa that was used as a source of water
during dry times.
2. Put together Bulletin Board 2: Food From Around the World. Where do
different foods come from? What foods do children know about from their
own family traditions? Use this display to promote sharing and discussion.
ADAPTED FROM: http://www.nutritionexplorations.org
Healthy Eating
48
My Family’s Favorite Foods!
Date: __________________________
ts
Ve
g
ui
et
Fr
ab
le
s
Name: ________________________________________________
Combination Foods
s
Milk
Grain
Meat and Beans
Healthy Eating
HE-5, Page 1
49
HE-5: Simon Says Food Groups
TIME: 30 minutes
GRADE: All
SUMMARY:
Children will try play
a Simon Says type
game to learn the
food groups.
DID YOU KNOW?
Less than five percent of U.S. children eat the foods recommended by
the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. These recommendations are based
on the minimum amount of nutrients children need to grow up healthy.
MATERIALS:
• Five Food Groups Handout for each child (provided)
• Hole puncher
• String or ribbon cut into 24-inch lengths (one per child)
• Paper or construction paper
• Crayons or markers for children
• Grocery store flyers, food pictures
• Glue sticks
ACTIVITIES:
1. Introduce or review the Five Food Groups using the Five Food Groups Handout.
2. Have children count off by fives. Ones are the grain group, Twos are the
vegetable group, Threes are the fruit group, Fours are the meat and beans
group and Fives are the milk group. Group children by their number. Make
sure each group has a Five Food Groups handout. (For a simpler game,
choose only the two or three food groups with which children are familiar,
and count off by twos or threes).
3. Pass a sheet of paper to each child. Let children pick one food in their assigned
food group. They can use the handout to help with this, and discuss with their
group what foods belong. Have children write the name of the food on their
paper and/or draw a picture of the food and/or cut out a picture of the food
and glue it to their paper.
4. Help children attach the string or ribbon to their sheets and hang them around
their necks with the picture facing out.
5. Before beginning the game, have the children introduce their food and its food
group. Example: “I’m an apple and I’m in the fruit group.”
6. As each child names the food group they are in, explain to the group what
makes that food group healthy (see Key Talking Points below).
7. Have half of the children stand on each side of the play space. Let children take
turns being Simon. The facilitator should start and can make suggestions to
the caller.
• Use directions such as Simon Says:
a. All Milk Group foods put their hands on their heads.
b. Anyone who has a Fruit Group food take one step forward.
c. If you're not a Meat Group food, clap your hands.
Healthy Eating
HE-5, Page 2
50
d. If you're not in the Grain Group, hop forward x amount
of times.
• Children who do not follow the correct directions move to the opposite
side of the room.
• Include some directions without Simon Says, such as: “Milk Group
foods raise your hands.” Children who respond should go to the
opposite side of the room because Simon Says did not precede
the direction.
8. This game has no end, and no winners or losers.
KEY TALKING POINTS:
1. There are certain foods you should eat more of, and others you should
eat less of for better health. Each of the food groups is full of nutrients
we need to stay healthy.
2. Grains provide carbohydrates for energy. Whole grains have B vitamins to
help you use the energy you eat and fiber to keep your digestion moving.
3. Fruits and vegetables provide vitamins, like vitamin A, which maintains healthy
skin and eyesight and vitamin C, which helps your wounds heal and keeps you
from getting sick. These two food groups also have fiber, which keeps your
digestive system moving, and minerals to keep you strong.
4. Meats and Beans provide proteins to give you strong muscles and help
you grow.
5. Milk provides calcium, a mineral needed for strong bones and teeth.
6. Fats and sweets (“sometimes foods”) are not considered a food group.
These foods have little or no health benefits and a lot of calories.
7. Snacks should contain foods from at least two food groups, breakfast should
contain foods from three groups, and lunch and dinner should contain foods
from four or five of the food groups.
AT THE END OF THIS ACTIVITY, CHILDREN WILL BE ABLE TO:
1. Classify foods into the five food groups.
2. Identify one way each food group helps keep them healthy.
3. Recognize why they should eat foods from all the food groups every day.
GO FURTHER:
1. Send home Family Outreach Tip Sheet TS-2: Food Groups. This tip sheet
lists the five basic food groups, explains why it’s important to eat these basic
foods at most meals, and has some healthy snack recipes on the back.
2. Put together Bulletin Board 2: Food From Around the World. Where do
different foods come from? What foods do children know about from their
own family traditions? Use this display to promote sharing and discussion.
Healthy Eating
HE-5, Page 3
51
3. Put together Bulletin Board 3: Good Health Is Always In Season. Promotes
discussion about growing fruits and vegetables, what it means for them to be
in season, and seasonal holidays.
4. Put together Bulletin Board 6: Boggled. This is based on the Boggle game for
making patterns, in this case, Get Healthy Now meal and snack patterns.
ADAPTED FROM: http://www.nutritionexplorations.org
Healthy Eating
HE-5, Page 4
52
5 Food Groups
Healthy Eating
HE-6, Page 1
53
HE-6: Food Group Relay
TIME: 30 minutes
GRADE: 3-5
SUMMARY:
Children will run a
relay race that will
test their knowledge
of the food groups.
DID YOU KNOW?
Less than five percent of children living in the United States eat the foods
recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. These recommendations
are based on the minimum amount of nutrients children need to grow up healthy.
MATERIALS:
• 12 large squares of paper (three feet by three feet)
• Tape
• NDC Food Model Cards
(see Materials List in Supplementary Materials section, page 229)
ACTIVITY:
1. At the top of each piece of paper write the name of a food group (grains,
vegetables, fruits, meat and beans, milk, “sometimes foods”). You should
have two squares of paper for each group.
Note: to avoid confusion, don’t use “combination foods”
that belong to multiple groups for this relay
(burritos, pizza, macaroni and cheese).
2. Arrange the food group squares on the wall of the far side of the play space
by taping one set of food groups several feet away from the other set of
food groups.
3. Place several pieces of tape in each food group square so that children will be
able to stick pictures on the squares.
4. Mark a start line with cones or tape on the other side of the play space and
have children make two lines, one for each set of food group squares.
5. Stand between the two lines with the food pictures. When you yell, Go!
hand the first child in each line a picture.
6. The first two children must then run as fast as they can to the food group
squares, stick the picture handed to them in the appropriate place, and
return to the start line to tag the next person in their line. During their turn,
teammates may correct any mistakes made by team members who placed
a food in the wrong group.
7. Remain standing between the lines to hand out food pictures to each child
right before their teammate tags them.
8. Each team gets ten points for finishing the relay, the team that goes through
their entire line of runners first gets an extra 5 points, and for each food that is
placed in the wrong group, the team loses a point. The team with the most
points wins.
9. Tally the final score as a group by discussing the food group squares, the
proper placement of the foods, and what makes each group good for you
(see Key Talking Points below).
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54
HE-6, Page 2
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HE-6, Page 3
55
10. Choose a variety of foods from each food group. If you choose to also use
unhealthful foods (cake, cookies, doughnuts, chewy granola bars), make
sure children place them correctly in the sometimes food category.
KEY TALKING POINTS:
1. There are certain foods you should eat more of, and others you should eat
less of for better health. Each of the food groups is full of nutrients we need
to stay healthy.
• Grains provide carbohydrates for energy. Whole grains have
B vitamins to help you use the energy you eat and fiber to keep
your digestion moving.
• Fruits and Vegetables provide vitamins, like vitamin A, which
maintains healthy skin and eyesight and vitamin C, which helps
your wounds heal and keeps you from getting sick. These two food
groups also have fiber, that keeps your digestive system moving,
and minerals to keep you strong.
• Meat and Beans provide proteins to give you strong muscles and
help you grow.
• Milk provides calcium, a mineral needed for strong bones and teeth.
• Fats and Sweets (“sometimes foods”) are not considered a food
group. These foods have little or no health benefits and a lot of calories.
2. Cardiovascular activity is when you raise your heart rate by moving all your
large muscles for a certain amount of time. This type of activity helps prevent
chronic disease and maintain a healthy weight by building muscle and
burning off extra energy. It has also been shown to improve your self-esteem.
3. Warming up before physical activity prevents injuries, increases body temperature, and gets the body ready for vigorous activity.
4. Stretching after cardiovascular activity is a great way to cool down and make
sure your muscles stay flexible.
AT THE END OF THIS ACTIVITY, CHILDREN WILL BE ABLE TO:
1. Review the five food groups.
2. Complete a cardiovascular activity.
GO FURTHER:
1. Send home Family Outreach Tip Sheet: TS-2: Food Groups. This tip sheet
lists the five basic food groups, explains why it’s important to eat these basic
foods at most meals, and has some healthy snack recipes on the back.
2. Put together Bulletin Board 2: Food From Around the World. Where do
different foods come from? What foods do children know about from their
own family traditions? Use this display to promote sharing and discussion.
Healthy Eating
56
3. Put together Bulletin Board 3: Good Health Is Always In Season. Promotes
discussion about growing fruits and vegetables, what it means for them to be
in season, and seasonal holidays.
4. Put together Bulletin Board 6: Boggled. This is based on the Boggle game for
making patterns, in this case, Get Healthy Now meal and snack patterns.
SOURCE: Boston Medical Center, Nutrition and Fitness for Life Program, 2010.
HE-6, Page 4
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HE-7, Page 1
57
HE-7: Fruit and Vegetable Rainbow
TIME: 30 minutes
GRADE: All
SUMMARY:
An art project where
children will learn
the five fruit and
vegetable color
groups.
DID YOU KNOW?
Less than half of American children eat the minimum 5 fruits and vegetables
a day they need for good health. It’s important to eat a variety of colors of fruits
and vegetables to get all the nutrients children need to grow up strong and stay
healthy.
MATERIALS:
• Colored construction paper
(red, orange, yellow, blue, black, purple, white, and green)
• Pencils/crayons
• Pictures of food
• Scissors
ACTIVITIES:
1. Split class into 5 groups (red, orange/yellow, blue/black, white, and green).
2. Give each group a stack of construction paper in their group’s color.
(For younger groups, you may want to hand out grocery flyers and ask each
group to cut out pictures of fruits and vegetables that are in their assigned
color group and glue them to a piece of paper.)
3. Ask each group to name fruits and vegetables that are the same color
as their group.
Note: bananas are in the white group because you don’t eat the yellow
skin. Apples, peppers, and grapes of different colors belong to the
group of that color. For example: green grapes and red grapes
are in different color groups.
4. Give the groups time to make fruits and vegetables in their color group.
5. Have each group stand and show the class what kinds of fruits and vegetables
they made.
• After each presentation mention one of the many benefits of each
group (see Key Talking Points below).
Red = healthy heart
Orange/yellow = healthy skin
Blue/purple/black = memory
White = prevent colds (immune system)
Green = good vision
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HE-7, Page 2
58
KEY TALKING POINTS:
1. It’s essential to get at least five servings of fruits and vegetables in your diet
every day! Why? Because fruits and vegetables provide the wide range of
vitamins, minerals, and fiber your body uses to stay healthy and fit.
2. Many of the vitamins and minerals that make fruits and vegetables good
for us also give them their color. So, eating a variety of colors is the best
way to ensure that you get all the nutrients you need to stay healthy and
help maintain:
• Strong bones, hair, and teeth
• Good memory
• Healthy vision
• A great source of energy to keep you going
AT THE END OF THIS ACTIVITY, CHILDREN WILL BE ABLE TO:
1. Name the five color groups and the fruits and vegetables that belong in them.
2. Recognize the different benefits from the different color groups.
GO FURTHER:
1. Use fruit and vegetable pictures for Capture the Bag game, which is activity
HE-8 (the next activity).
2. Download the coloring book There’s a Rainbow on my Plate from
http://www.pbhfoundation.org/educators/teachers/rainbow/activities.php.
3. Send home Family Outreach Tip Sheet: TS-3 Eat Your Colors. This tip
sheet is about the importance of consuming plenty of fruits and vegetables
of various colors, and gives a list of color groups and hints on how to get
children to eat their colors.
4. Put together Bulletin Board 3: Good Health Is Always In Season. Promotes
discussion about growing fruits and vegetables, what it means for them to be
in season, and seasonal holidays.
5. Put together Bulletin Board 4: Color Me Healthy. Children use pictures of
fruits and vegetables from the different color groups to construct a colorful
peacock picture.
SOURCE: Boston Medical Center, Nutrition and Fitness for Life Program, 2010.
Healthy Eating
HE-8, Page 1
59
HE-8: Capture the Bag
TIME: 30 minutes
GRADE: 3-5
SUMMARY:
A capture the flag–
like game teaching
children to eat 5
fruits and vegetables
a day.
DID YOU KNOW?
It’s important to eat a variety of colors of fruits and vegetables to get all the nutrients that your body needs to grow and stay healthy. In this game, children will
complete a cardiovascular workout and learn the importance of eating a variety
of fruits and vegetables every day.
MATERIALS:
At least two of each color of fruit and vegetable pictures or models
in plastic bags:
• Red: tomatoes, cherries, red peppers
• Yellow/Orange: carrots, corn, sweet potatoes
• Green: honeydew, artichokes, collard greens
• Purple/Blue: plums, eggplant, blackberries, raisins
• White: bananas, mushrooms, onions, garlic
For more information on eating a colorful variety everyday visit
www.frutiandvegetablesmorematters.org
ACTIVITY:
Safety Considerations:
1. This game requires a large amount of space. If you do not have a gym space,
plan for a good weather day.
2. Make sure you review safety rules, such as no pushing. Children should tag
gently. This is especially important when older and younger children are
playing together.
How to set up for Capture the Bag:
1. Divide a large open space in half with masking tape. Designate a small area
in each half that will be the closet and another that will be the kitchen.
2. Show the children the bags they will be capturing. Ask if they have ever eaten
any of the fruits and vegetables shown in each bag, and get a show of hands.
Explain that there are a lot of different kinds of fruits and vegetables, and it’s
good for your health to eat a variety. “Put a rainbow on your plate,” is one way
to talk about it. Use background information provided to help you discuss the
benefits of eating a variety of fruits and vegetables.
3. Place half of the fruit and vegetable bags in each kitchen, making sure there is
at least one fruit or vegetable from each of the five color groups in both teams’
kitchens.
To Play Capture the Bag:
1. Divide the children into two groups. One group will be Lunch and the other
group will be Dinner.
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60
2. Explain to the children that the Lunch team will have to try and capture one
bag from each color group in the Dinner team's kitchen and the Dinner team
must try to capture one bag from each color group in the Lunch team's
kitchen. (Similar to Capture the Flag, if you are familiar with this game.)
3. Each group will scatter in their own area and some children will have to guard
their kitchen. When the game begins, team members will cross into the other
team’s area to try and capture their bags. A player can only capture one bag
at a time.
4. Once they cross over the tape, players are at risk of being tagged. If a player
gets tagged, then he/she has to go to that team’s closet. Children can only be
freed from the closet if one of their own team players tags them.
5. A team wins when they collect one bag from each color group (total of five)
from the other team’s kitchen.
6. Explain why it is important to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables and why
everyone needs 5 a day (see Key Talking Points below.)
KEY TALKING POINTS:
1. The majority of vegetables eaten by children are in the form of french fries (as
early as the age of two), meaning they are not only getting too many calories
from added fat, but very little variety.
2. Everyone needs at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables every day because
they provide the vitamins, minerals, and fiber your body needs to stay healthy
and fit.
3. Many of the vitamins and minerals in fruits and vegetables also give them
different colors. So, eating a variety of colors is the best way to get all the
nutrients you need.
4. Fruits and vegetables of various colors can help you maintain strong bones,
hair, and teeth; memory function; vision health; and are a healthy source of
energy to keep you going.
5. A fruit is the sweet, ripened section of a seed-bearing plant, while a vegetable
is a plant grown for its edible part (seeds, roots, stems, leaves, bulbs, tubers,
or nonsweet fruits). So, a fruit could be a vegetable, but a vegetable could not
be a fruit.
6. Cardiovascular exercise burns calories, can improve self-esteem, and strengthens your bones, muscles, heart, and lungs.
AT THE END OF THIS ACTIVITY, CHILDREN WILL BE ABLE TO:
1. Recognize that healthy eating means eating a variety of fruits and vegetables.
2. Identify the five color groups of fruits and vegetables.
3. Complete an endurance activity.
HE-8, Page 2
Healthy Eating
HE-8, Page 3
61
GO FURTHER:
1. After each round of play, ask each group to name different ways the fruit and
vegetables they captured could be part of their team's meal. Example:
• The Lunch group, having captured a banana, celery, raisins, carrots,
and tomatoes can suggest adding tomatoes to a sandwich, having
celery with peanut butter and raisins, eating carrots and dip, or having
a banana for dessert.
2. Read the book: Eating the Alphabet: Fruits and Vegetables from A to Z
by Lois Ehlert. Again, you can ask the children as you read, “has anyone ever
eaten a kumquat? What was it like? Do you know where it comes from?” etc.
3. The activity sheets can now be found at
(http://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org/?page_id=81)
4. Find more materials to promote eating fruits and vegetables at
(http://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org/?page_id=115)
5. Send home Family Outreach Tip Sheet: TS-3 Eat Your Colors -- This tip
sheet is about the importance of consuming plenty of fruits and vegetables of
various colors, and gives a list of color groups and hints on how to get children
to eat their colors.
6. Put together Bulletin Board 2: Food From Around the World. Where do
different foods come from? What foods do children know about from their
own family traditions? Use this display to promote sharing and discussion.
7. Put together Bulletin Board 3: Good Health Is Always In Season. Promotes
discussion about growing fruits and vegetables, what it means for them to be
in season, and seasonal holidays.
8. Put together Bulletin Board 4: Color Me Healthy. Children use pictures of
fruits and vegetables from the different color groups to construct a colorful
peacock picture.
ADAPTED FROM: Shape Up Somerville, Friedman School of Nutrition Tufts University,
2005
Healthy Eating
62
HE-8, Page 4
Healthy Eating
HE-9, Page 1
63
HE-9: Great Vegetable Hunt
TIME: 30 minutes
GRADE: 3-5
SUMMARY:
Children will have
a relay race and a
scavenger hunt for
vegetables.
DID YOU KNOW?
Children do not eat the amount of vegetables they need to stay healthy. By
teaching them more about vegetables and how they grow, children may
become accustomed to new vegetables and more likely to try them when
given the opportunity.
MATERIALS:
• Broomstick
• Vegetable bags
(you can use NDC Food Model Cards in bags or use the vegetables
created in the Fruit and Vegetable Rainbow activity)
• Empty watering can
• Pail/bucket
• Basket
• Vegetable cards
(you can use NDC Food Model Cards in bags or use the vegetables
created in Fruit and Vegetable Rainbow activity)
• Plant parts sheet (provided)
ACTIVITY:
Set Up:
For part 1, each of the three groups needs a broomstick (which will be used
as the hoe), two vegetable bags, watering can, pail/bucket (used as compost
bucket), and a basket. The equipment is placed at the opposite end line.
For part 2, hide the vegetable cards all over the classroom. Hang up the plant
parts poster.
To Play Great Vegetable Hunt:
Explain to children that it is important to eat at least 5 servings of vegetables and
fruits a day and ask if they can name 5 vegetables they could eat in one day (see
Key Talking Points below).
Part One: Relay Race
1. Divide the children into three groups.
2. The first person in each group runs down to the opposite end, picks up the
hoe, hoes the ground 5 times, and runs back.
3. The second person plants the vegetable bean bags, and runs back.
4. The third person waters the vegetables with the watering can and runs back.
5. The fourth person spreads the compost from the bucket.
Healthy Eating
64
6. The fifth person harvests the vegetables, puts them in the basket, and hops
back, bringing them to the market.
Part Two: Vegetable Hunt
7. Children need to find different cards that have been hidden in the classroom.
Each card has a picture of a vegetable on it.
8. After each picture is found, one member from each group brings it to the front
of the room.
9. Once all the cards are found, show the picture of the different plant parts: leaf,
stem, fruits, flowers, roots and seeds. (See Answers for Great Vegetable
Hunt on the next page.)
10. Explain that each vegetable card they found belongs in one of these
categories. They need to figure it out! Have all of the groups work together.
11. For each correct answer, the children do 5 jumping jacks. For each incorrect
answer, have them do 5 toe touches. (See Toe Touch Instructions
on the next page.)
KEY TALKING POINTS:
1. Vegetables are an important source of the vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals,
and fiber needed for growth.
2. One way to get more vegetables into your diet is to eat them for snacks.
3.Cardiovascular activity is when you raise your heart rate by moving all your
large muscles for a certain amount of time. This type of activity helps prevent
chronic disease and maintain a healthy weight by building muscle and burning
off extra energy. It has also been shown to promote feelings of well-being.
4. You can tell that you are giving your heart a workout when it starts beating
faster. You take your pulse by placing two fingers on the inside of your wrist or
on the side of your neck and count the number of beats in a minute (or the
number of beats in15 seconds X 4).
5. Warming up before physical activity prevents injuries, increases body
temperature, and gets the body ready for vigorous activity.
6. Stretching after cardiovascular activity is a great way to cool down and make
sure your muscles stay flexible.
7. Drinking a lot of water is especially important during cardiovascular activity to
replace the water your body loses when you sweat. Being dehydrated during
vigorous activity can make you feel tired and cause muscle cramps.
AT THE END OF THIS ACTIVITY, CHILDREN WILL BE ABLE TO:
1. Identify different types of vegetables.
2. Increase their heart rate and perform weight-bearing exercise.
GO FURTHER:
1. Send home Family Outreach Tip Sheet TS-3: Eat Your Colors. This tip sheet
is about the importance of consuming plenty of fruits and vegetables
HE-9, Page 2
Healthy Eating
HE-9, Page 3
65
of various colors, and gives a list of color groups and hints on how to get
children to eat their colors.
2. Put together Bulletin Board 3: Good Health Is Always In Season. Promotes
discussion about growing fruits and vegetables, what it means for them to be
in season, and seasonal holidays.
3. Put together Bulletin Board 4: Color Me Healthy. Children use pictures of
fruits and vegetables from the different color groups to construct a colorful
peacock picture.
ADAPTED FROM: Shape Up Somerville, Friedman School of Nutrition Tufts University,
2005
Answers for the Great Vegetable Hunt:
LEAVES
Lettuce
Cabbage
Spinach
Bok Choy
Kale
STEMS
Rhubarb
Celery
Asparagus
Leeks
Scallions
FRUITS
Tomato
Pepper
Squash
Eggplant
Okra
Pea Pods
FLOWERS
Broccoli
Cauliflower
Artichokes
ROOTS
Radish
Turnip
Beet
Yams
Parsnip
Rutabega
Carrots
Potatoes
Onions
Leeks
Garlic
Shallots
SEEDS
Corn
Peas
Beans
TOE TOUCH INSTRUCTIONS
1. Have children scatter around the room.
2. Each child should be standing up straight and their feet shoulder width apart and facing forward.
3. Have children bend down slowly and touch their toes while bending their knees slightly.
4. Hold this position for two seconds.
5. Then have the children return to an upright position. That is one toe touch.
Healthy Eating
HE-9, Page 4
66
Plant Parts
Fruit
Leaf
Stem
Flower
Sprouted
Seed
Roots
Strawberry Plant
Healthy Eating
HE-10, Page 1
67
HE-10: Great Grain Obstacle
TIME: 20-30 minutes
GRADE: 3-5
SUMMARY:
Children run through
an obstacle course
with a grain theme.
DID YOU KNOW?
Carbohydrates from grains are an important source of energy. A lot of the foods
we eat (bread, cereal, pasta, rice, corn, rye, millet, and many more) are grains or
come from grains.
MATERIALS:
• Stop watch
• Small bucket
• Two pieces of cardboard labeled A and B
• Rubber bases or small mats
• Two big pieces of cardboard
• Three to six balls or beanbags
• Jump rope
• Broom handle
• Two chairs
• Six rice boxes
• Six cones
• Masking tape
ACTIVITY:
Set Up:
1. Station 1: Bucket O’ Oats. Place the piece of cardboard labeled A and the
piece of cardboard labeled B, 20 feet apart. Place the bucket at this station.
2. Station 2: Popcorn Pop and Hop. Place the bases/mats in a zigzag pattern.
3. Station 3: Rigatoni Tunnel. Set up a tunnel by placing cones several feet
apart. Use a big piece of cardboard for the top.
4. Station 4: Rice Tumble. Set up rice boxes into a pyramid: three on bottom,
two in the middle, and one on top. Place balls or bean bags at this station.
5. Station 5: Jump through the Rye. Use masking tape to tape off an area
for the rye field. Make it about 15 feet long. Place the jump rope at the end
of the field.
6. Station 6: Spaghetti Limbo and Go. Set up a broom handle supported by
two chairs. Set up signs at each station as well.
To Play Great Grain Obstacle:
1. As you explain each station to the children, explain/remind them why grains
are good for us (see Key Talking Points below).
2. One child starts at each station. The remaining children make a line at station1.
Once a child finishes a station, the next child can start.
Healthy Eating
68
3. In Station 1, children are pretending to carry a bucket of oats from point A
to point B, and back.
4. In Station 2, children run and hop (one leg at a time on each base/mat)
along a zigzag course. Here they are pretending to be popcorn popping.
5. In Station 3, children are trying to crawl through the tunnel as fast
as possible.
6. In Station 4, the children use a ball or a beanbag and try to knock down the
rice boxes. Have a staff member set up the boxes after each child goes.
7. In Station 5, children have to jump rope to one end of the field and
back again.
8. In Station 6, the children have to pass underneath the broom handle without
it falling off the chair. Once they do this successfully, they have completed the
course. See how many times children can complete the obstacle course in ten
minutes. Have them try to beat their own times.
9. Cheer the children on and encourage them to challenge themselves.
KEY TALKING POINTS:
1. Grains are healthy for us because they give us energy and can be a good
source of vitamins, minerals and fiber.
2. Examples of grains are: brown rice, cornflakes, oatmeal, pretzels, waffles and
also the items from the game they are playing.
3. Cardiovascular activity is when you raise your heart rate by moving all your
large muscles for a certain amount of time. This type of activity helps prevent
chronic disease and maintain a healthy weight by building muscle and burning off extra energy. It has also been shown to improve your self-esteem.
4. You can tell that you are giving your heart a workout when it starts beating
faster. You take your pulse by placing two fingers on the inside of your wrist
or on the side of your neck and count the number of beats in a minute (or
the number of beats in15 seconds X 4).
5. Warming up before physical activity prevents injuries, increases body
temperature, and gets the body ready for vigorous activity.
6. Stretching after cardiovascular activity is a great way to cool down and make
sure your muscles stay flexible.
7. Drinking a lot of water is especially important during cardiovascular activity to
replace the water your body loses when you sweat. Being dehydrated during
vigorous activity can make you feel tired and cause muscle cramps.
AT THE END OF THIS ACTIVITY, CHILDREN WILL BE ABLE TO:
1. Recognize that grains are very important to eat when they exercise a lot
because they give the body lots of energy.
ADAPTED FROM: Shape Up Somerville, Friedman School of Nutrition Tufts University, 2005
HE-10, Page 2
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HE-11, Page 1
69
HE-11: Feeling Fibrous
TIME: 20 minutes
GRADE: All
SUMMARY:
Children will compare
a whole grain and
refined grain as part
of a snack.
DID YOU KNOW?
Grains in their whole form are a healthier choice, yet most grain foods we eat are
refined, meaning that fiber and other important nutrients have been removed.
MATERIALS:
• Crackers made with refined white flour
(for example Saltines, one for each child)
• Crackers made with 100% whole grain flour
(for example Wasa bread, ak-mak, or some other whole grain cracker,
one for each child)
• Plastic sandwich bags, two for each child
• Magnifiers optional
• Water
• What are Whole Grains? sheet (provided)
ACTIVITIES:
Please be sure to have all those involved in the activity properly wash their hands.
If a new food is being consumed, please make caregivers aware and receive
permission before doing this activity.
1. At least one hour before doing this activity, put one cracker in each bag so
each student will have one Saltine in one bag and one Wasa in another bag.
2. Put three to four tablespoons of water in each bag and let the crackers soak
for at least an hour prior to this activity. Seal the bags so they won’t leak.
3. Review the function and parts of a grain (See Key Talking Points below).
4. Give each child a soaked refined cracker (Saltine). Have them squish it to feel
how soft it is. Have them look carefully at the squished cracker and ask: “What
do you notice?” (Examples: squishy, white, loses its shape, etc.)
5. Give each child a soaked whole grain cracker (Wasa). Have them mash it
up and ask: “What difference do you notice?” (Examples: color, grainy
texture, etc.)
6. Explain that the different texture is because of the grain’s seed coat and germ,
which is where the fiber (nature’s broom) and nutrients are in grains. This is
the part that’s been removed to make the Saltine.
7. Handout and discuss the What are Whole Grains? sheet.
(For Grades 3-5):
8. Look at the labels from these crackers. Look at fiber content, %DV, grams of
nutrients, and ingredients (see Key Talking Points below). You may also want
to hand out and discuss the Family Tip Sheet TS-4: Great Grains.
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(all ages)
9. Wash hands.
10. Now make a snack with each kind of cracker. Add cheese, or peanut butter
and raisins, etc.
11. Compare the taste of the crackers. (This is a good opportunity to do the
Tasting Chart.) Do the crackers taste different?
KEY TALKING POINTS:
1. Grains are the largest part of a healthy diet.
2. Whole grains are grains that have all the parts of the grain or seed. Refined
grains have had parts of the grain or seed removed, meaning that some of
the nutrients have also been removed.
3. For grades 3-5 activity, %DV stands for Percent Daily Value. This is the amount
of that nutrient that should be included in a healthy diet for an average size
person. A whole grain food should contain at least 5% DV of Dietary Fiber
as listed on the Nutrition Facts panel.
AT THE END OF THIS ACTIVITY, CHILDREN WILL BE ABLE TO:
1. Identify the difference between refined and whole grain crackers.
2. Recognize the importance of whole grains for their higher fiber, vitamin and
mineral content than refined grains (Grades 3-5).
GO FURTHER:
1. Challenge students to eat at least one whole grain product at home, and try
to bring in the label.
2. Make a collage of whole grain labels, or a bulletin board.
3. Do activity MM-8: Are They Whole Grains?
4. Send home Family Outreach Tip Sheet TS-4 Great Grains. This sheet
explains the healthful aspects of eating whole grains, how to read nutrition
information to figure out if a food contains whole grains, and gives some
hints of how to get children to eat and try whole grain foods.
SOURCE: Boston Medical Center, Nutrition and Fitness for Life Program, 2010.
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What are Whole Grains?
What exactly is a “whole grain”?
Whole grain foods contain all three parts of the grain: the bran, the endosperm
and the germ. Each part of the grain is healthful, but eating the entire grain allows
all three parts to work together. Whole grains provide energy for daily activities
and can reduce the risk of developing many major diseases.
Whole Grain Wheat Kernel Diagram
(with part of the side sliced off to reveal inner properties)
Where the Seed Sprouts
Bran
The outer shell
is called the bran.
It is made up
of several hard
layers and is full
of fiber, minerals
and B vitamins.
This outer shell
protects the seed.
Endosperm
Inside the bran layer is the
large endosperm portion.
This is full of protein,
smaller amounts of
B vitamins and complex
carbohydrates that
provide energy for
the seed.
Germ
The third and last part
of the grain is called
the germ. This part
contains vitamin E, B
vitamins, minerals and
healthful unsaturated
fats. The germ provides
nourishment for
the seed.
The whole grain kernel is the seed from which the plant grows.
We make flour and cereal products from whole grain kernels.
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When all three parts of the grain are present in processed foods, they are considered
whole grain. Other examples of common types of whole grains include:
Brown Rice
Wild Rice
Barley
Rolled Oats
Corn
Popcorn
How do you find whole grains in food products?
There are a few simple steps you can take when trying to find whole grain foods.
1. Look for the words “whole grain” or “100% whole wheat” in large letters on the
food package.
2. Look for the list of ingredients on the package. Look for the word “whole” in front
of a grain to be listed first on the ingredient list (for example: “whole wheat”).
Why are whole grains important?
Whole grains provide your body with the nutrients you need to stay fit! Whole grain foods
are rich in fiber. Fiber helps to keep our bodies well by reducing our risk of heart disease
and helping us maintain a healthy weight. Whole grains are rich in special chemicals that
help prevent cancer. They also provide carbohydrate, protein, healthy fats, vitamins, and
minerals for overall health and energy.
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HE-12: Benefits of Water
TIME: 30 minutes
GRADE: All
SUMMARY:
Children will get a
short workout and
learn that water is
the best drink to
quench their thirst.
DID YOU KNOW?
Dehydration occurs when your body does not have enough water to work
properly. Children cannot store a lot of water in their bodies and tend to become
dehydrated faster than adults. Children who do not know the importance of
drinking water are less likely to drink enough of it to stay healthy.
MATERIALS:
• Jump ropes
• Music
• Chalkboard/Whiteboard
• Chalk/Markers
• Small pieces of paper
• Pencils
• Water pitcher filled with water
• 8 oz. cups
ACTIVITY:
1. Pass out jump ropes; children can share if necessary.
2. Pass out a small piece of paper to each child and pencils.
3. Tell children to write down their name and how many times they think they
can jump the rope. They do not need to reveal their numbers.
4. Give children four or five tries to reach or exceed his or her goal and until
each has worked up a sweat.
5. Give children water to drink.
6. After children jump rope and drink their water, write on the board
and ask, “How do you feel?”
7. Write down answers on the board; some answers may be: sweaty, tired,
fast heartbeat, fast breathing, hot, etc.
8. Tell the children that when you are moving around a lot, your body sweats
in order to cool itself. The fluids lost from your body as sweat, need to
be replaced. So it is important to drink plenty of fluids when you are
physically active.
9. Ask the children, “What do you think is a good drink to replace fluids you lost
through sweating?”
10. Tell and explain to the children why water is the best drink to replace fluids
when you are moving around a lot and also when you are thirsty.
11. Talk about other benefits of water (see Key Talking Points below).
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KEY TALKING POINTS:
1. Water makes up about 85% of a child’s body weight.
2. Throughout each day water is lost through skin, lungs, and when you go
to the bathroom. If water that is lost is not replaced, dehydration will occur.
3. Dehydration reduces the body’s ability to perform physically and mentally.
Children are at high risk of becoming dehydrated because they can’t store
water as well as adults can. Water:
• Is essential for the body to cool itself, particularly during activities
where water is lost through sweat.
• Is needed for your digestive system to work properly.
• Lubricates joints and cushions vital organs.
• Prevents constipation.
4. When you are thirsty, water is the best choice because it does not have
calories like other beverages such as soda and juice. When consumed in
excess, these other drinks can lead to weight gain and increase the risk
for diabetes at an early age.
AT THE END OF THIS ACTIVITY, CHILDREN WILL BE ABLE TO:
Identify reasons why water is important to the body.
GO FURTHER:
1. Send home Family Outreach Tip Sheet TS-5: Dueling Drinks. This sheet
explains the importance of drinking water and the importance of limiting
drinks that are high in sugars and calories.
ADAPTED FROM: The Power of Choice: Helping Youth Make Healthy Eating and Fitness
Decisions, United States Department of Agriculture, Food and
Nutrition Services, 2003.
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HE-13: Make Water Tasty
TIME: 30 minutes
GRADE: All
SUMMARY:
Children will flavor
water naturally
without adding sugar.
DID YOU KNOW?
Children often prefer juice and sweetened beverages to water because water
has no flavor. However, drinking sweetened beverages and juice can leave
children dehydrated and lead to drinking too many calories.
MATERIALS:
• 8 oz. Cups
(Five for each child - one cup will be used to rinse out mouth between
taste testing.)
• Paper plates (one for each child)
• Water pitchers filled with water to fill up cups
• Caffeine free tea bags
(Any fruit flavor children will enjoy such as raspberry or peach.)
• Lemons (1/4 for each child)
• Lime (1/4 for each child)
ACTIVITY:
Please be sure to have all those involved in the activity properly wash their hands.
If a new food is being consumed, please make caregivers aware and receive
permission before doing this activity.
1. As you pass out 5 cups and one plate for each child and yourself, ask children:
• “What drink do you have the most of during the day?”
• “Why?”
• “What do you think of water?”
2. Explain how important it is to drink plenty of water (see Key Talking Points
below) and that there are healthy ways to add flavor to it.
3. Pour water into cups about 3/4 full.
4. Pass out 1/4 lemon to each child.
5. As you demonstrate, have the children squeeze the lemon into the water.
Place the lemon rind on the plate.
6. Have the children taste the lemon water along with you. Ask children:
• “How did you like the taste?”
• “How is it different from drinking plain water?”
• “Do you like it?”
7. Rinse out mouth with plain water.
8. Repeat 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 with the lime.
9. Pass out flavored tea bags to the children.
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10. As you demonstrate, have the children place the tea bags into their cups.
11. Wait 5 minutes; let the children watch how the water turns colors with the
tea bags.
12. As the tea bags steep, ask, “Can anyone tell me what is common about
everything that is being put into the water for flavor?”
13. Go over with the children that the flavor is coming from fruits. Lemon
and limes are fruits and the flavor for the teas are coming from raspberries
and peaches.
14. After discussion, have the children take the tea bags out of the water
and place on the paper plates.
15. Taste one tea drink at a time and repeat eight and nine.
16. Repeat for last tea drink.
17. At the end of the activity ask, “Will adding caffeine free flavored tea, lemon
or limes to water encourage you to drink more water?”
KEY TALKING POINTS:
1. 100% fruit juice, if available, should be limited to 6 oz. a day (1 serving).
2. The main complaint of people who do not drink enough water is that it has
no flavor.
3. By adding natural substances, such as lemon, limes, and caffeine free flavored
teas, water can be a tasty drink free of sugar and calories.
4. Throughout each day water is lost through skin, lungs, and when you go to
the bathroom. If water that is lost is not replaced, dehydration will occur.
5. Dehydration reduces the body’s ability to perform physically and mentally.
Children are at high risk of becoming dehydrated because they can’t store
water as well as adults can. Water:
• Is essential for the body to cool itself, particularly during activities
where water is lost through sweat.
• Is needed for your digestive system to work properly.
• Lubricates joints and cushions vital organs.
• Prevents constipation.
6. When you are thirsty, water is the best choice because it does not have calories like other beverages such as soda and juice. When consumed in excess,
these other drinks can lead to weight gain and increase the risk for diabetes
at an early age.
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AT THE END OF THIS ACTIVITY, CHILDREN WILL BE ABLE TO:
1. Recognize ways to add flavor to water without adding sugar.
2. Understand the importance of drinking water.
GO FURTHER:
Send home Family Outreach Tip Sheet TS-5: Dueling Drinks. This sheet
explains the importance of drinking water and the importance of limiting drinks
that are high in sugars and calories.
SOURCE: Boston Medical Center, Nutrition and Fitness for Life Program, 2010.
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HE-14: Smoothie It Up!
TIME: 30 minutes
GRADE: 3-5
SUMMARY:
Children will learn
how to make a
smoothie by mixing
skim milk and fruit
in a blender.
DID YOU KNOW?
Children drink too many drinks that contain a lot of sugar, such as soda and juice
drinks. A great way to get children to drink healthier choices is to encourage
them to make fruit smoothies.
MATERIALS:
• Blender
• One gallon of skim milk
• 8 oz. cups
• Napkins
• Measuring cup
• Fresh or frozen bananas and strawberries
(Have enough for children to taste test and to mix with the milk.)
• Plastic knife
ACTIVITIES:
Please be sure to have all those involved in the activity properly wash their hands.
If a new food is being consumed, please make caregivers aware and receive
permission before doing this activity.
Activity 1: Observing Fruits
1. Before activity have children wash hands.
2. Open the activity by showing the blender that will be used for this activity. Ask:
• “Do you know what this is?”
• “How do you use it?”
3. Talk about different foods that can be mixed up in the blender. Hold up the
strawberries and ask, “Do you know what type of fruit this is?”
4. Pass around the strawberries, one for each child.
5. Ask children what they notice about the texture, appearance (seeds, color),
and taste (sweet, juicy) of the strawberries.
6. Talk about why strawberries are good to eat (see Key Talking Points below).
7. Pass out 1/8 of a banana to each child.
8. Have children peel the banana.
9. Ask children what they notice about the texture, appearance
(smooth, seeds, spots), and taste (sweet, mushy) of the banana.
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10. Have children notice where they bit into the banana, ask, “What do you see?”
(Example: seeds)
11. Talk about why bananas are good to eat (see Key Talking Points below.)
12. Ask:
• “When we mix the strawberries and bananas with the milk do you
think the texture and taste will be the same?”
• “When we mix the strawberries and bananas with the milk,
will we still get the vitamins and minerals that are in the fruit
and milk when we eat them separately?”
• “When we mix the fruit with the milk, what nutrient will
we be adding?”
• “Why is calcium important?”
Activity Two: Make Your Smoothie
1. Demonstrate to the children how to make the drink
• Measure one cup milk
• Three strawberries and1/4 banana
• Place in blender and mix
2. Pour drink in cup and take a sip
3. Have two children at a time come up to prepare the drink
• Let a child measure one cup milk
• Let the other child place three strawberries and1/4 banana in blender
• Supervise use of the blender
4. Have children taste the drink, ask:
• “How does the drink compare to the fruits and milk we ate separately?”
• “What other fruits can be used to mix in milk?”
5. Remind children when making drinks at home to get a parent’s permission
KEY TALKING POINTS:
1. Children start drinking sweetened beverages (soda, juice drinks, and
sports drinks) at a very young age and they tend to drink more through
young adulthood. These drinks are high in sugar and provide very few
vitamins and minerals that are important for a child’s growth.
2. Too many sweet drinks can cause tooth decay, decreased appetite,
picky eating and constipation.
3. Fruit drinks do not contain the same nutrients as fresh fruits. Eating fresh
fruit, whole or mixed with milk or yogurt, gives children benefits not available
in fruit drinks.
• Bananas provide fiber that sweeps your digestive tract like a broom,
vitamin B6 maintains a healthy brain and blood cells, and
potassium helps build strong muscles during growth.
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• Strawberries provide fiber, and vitamin C to help with wound healing
and lower your chance of getting sick.
• Milk provides calcium for healthy bones and teeth.
AT THE END OF THIS ACTIVITY, CHILDREN WILL BE ABLE TO:
1. Identify a healthy way to get more fruit in their diet.
2. Identify the benefits of vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
GO FURTHER:
1. Have children create their own Smoothie Recipes, listing ingredients
and giving them names like Mike’s Mango Madness, or Rachel’s
Melon Surprise.
2. Send home Family Outreach Tip Sheet TS-5: Dueling Drinks. This sheet
explains the importance of drinking water and the importance of limiting
drinks that are high in sugars and calories.
3. Send home Family Outreach TS-6: Bone Builders. This tip sheet explains
the importance of weight-bearing exercise and calcium rich foods for bone
growth, and contains recipes for high calcium snack suggestions.
ADAPTED FROM: http://www.nutritionexplorations.org
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HE-15: Baby Beans and Seed Snacks
TIME: 20 minutes
GRADE: K-2
SUMMARY:
Children will examine
the bean and bean
sprout parts and
then eat them as
a healthy snack.
DID YOU KNOW?
Beans are a good source of protein, while being low in fat and high in fiber.
MATERIALS:
• Large dry beans such as kidney beans, lima beans (20-30 per student)
• Fresh bean sprouts, or sprouts from HE-16: Sprouting Seeds activity
• Plastic knives optional
• Plastic magnifiers optional
• Paper plates or napkins
• Bean Diagrams (provided)
ACTIVITIES:
Please be sure to have all those involved in the activity to properly wash
their hands.
If a new food is being consumed, please make caregivers aware and receive
permission before doing this activity.
Set-up:
1. Soak beans overnight in a bowl of water. Alternatively, boil dry beans in a pot
of water for two to three minutes, then let sit for one or two hours. (Boiled
beans are a little tastier, if children want to try eating them.)
2. Rinse the beans under running water until rinse water is clear and refrigerate
before use. (Use beans within two days)
Activity:
1. Have children wash their hands.
2. Hold up a bean and ask:
• “Do you know what this is?”
• “Did you know there are different kinds of beans?”
• “What kind do you like?”
3. Explain to children that they are going to look very closely at some beans,
and take them apart. Look at the Bean Diagrams (provided) and identify
parts of a bean.
4. Place two beans on each child’s paper plate. Ask, “What do you see?”
5. Have children take the coat off the seed, and explain,”The skin around the
bean is called the seed coat, It protects the bean while it’s waiting to grow.
This is where a lot of the fiber comes from when you eat the bean.”
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6. Have children split the beans in half (each half is called a cotyledon) and
explain, “This is the part of the seed that is food for the baby plant. Can you
see the baby plant in the middle?” (use magnifiers, if available.) Point out
the leaves and root of the baby plant.
7. Explain: “The bean plant that this came from made this seed as food for a new
baby plant. It’s also good food for growing children.” (You can eat the seeds. If
they’ve been boiled a minute, they’ll taste more like cooked beans, otherwise
they taste kind of raw, but they’re okay to eat.)
8. Now give each child a few bean sprouts. Point out the cotyledons on the stem,
root, and leaves. This is what the seed looks like as it begins to grow. Have
them look carefully at the sprouts and identify the parts (bean halves, leaves,
root).
9. Now they can eat the sprouts. If they don’t like them, suggest that they pull off
the leaves and root hairs at the ends, and just eat the fat shoot in the middle (it
has the best taste). Eat some yourself to model trying new foods.
10. If you’re doing a Tasting Chart as an ongoing activity, you can put the beans
and bean sprouts on the chart, and vote on who likes them and who doesn’t
(see HE-4: Tasting Chart activity).
KEY TALKING POINTS:
1. Beans are in the meat and beans group because they are high in protein, like
meat, fish, eggs, nuts, and seeds.
2. Beans are low in fat and high in fiber. Fiber works like a broom to clean out
your digestive system.
3. There are many types of beans that can be prepared in several ways to create
a wide variety of dishes all over the world.
AT THE END OF THIS ACTIVITY, CHILDREN WILL BE ABLE TO:
1. Recognize that beans are a good source of protein and fiber, and low in fat.
2. Recognize that beans and seeds are foods that come from plants.
GO FURTHER:
1. Use extra dried beans to make a mosaic. Bean Mosaic Materials:
• Piece of cardboard
• White glue
• Q-tips
• Assortment of dried beans (such as red kidney beans, pinto beans,
black-eyed peas, and black beans)
2. Have children use a Q-tip to form a design on cardboard with white glue.
3. Let children arrange beans on top of the glued area.
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4. Allow the glue to dry completely before setting the mosaic upright.
• HE-17: Windowsill Garden activity, grow beans on your windowsill.
• Read the book Life Cycle of a Bean by Angela Royston, and discuss
how this relates to the beans and sprouts you have observed.
• HE-16: Sprouting Seeds activity, sprout your own seeds.
SOURCE: Boston Medical Center, Nutrition and Fitness for Life Program, 2010.
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Bean Diagram
Seed Coat
Whole Bean
Bean Embryo
Leaf
Root
Cotyledon
Food
Bean Split in Half
Lima Bean
(Contains Endosperm)
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TIME: 5 minutes a
day for a week, then
30 minutes
HE-16: Sprouting Seeds
DID YOU KNOW?
GRADE: All
SUMMARY:
Children will grow
their own sprouts
to use in other activities or to enjoy as a
healthy snack.
Many children do not eat enough vegetables for good health. It can sometimes
be difficult to get a child interested in trying them, but one way to get them
interested is to let them grow the foods you’re trying to get them to eat.
MATERIALS:
• Mung beans to sprout
• Large wide mouthed jars
(preferably plastic, such as peanut butter or mayonnaise)
• Cheesecloth
(or muslin or tulle or any fabric that will allow water to drain out)
• Rubber bands to secure cheesecloth over the mouth of the jar
• Bean Sprout Parts Diagram (provided)
ACTIVITIES:
Setting up and sprouting
1. Soak two to three Tablespoons of seeds in warm water overnight (figure 1 and 2).
2. Rinse the seeds in cold water and drain them.
3. Put the seeds in the jar and cover the opening with the cheesecloth and
secure with a rubber band (figure 3).
4. Store in a warm dark place. Rinse seeds with cool water two or three times
a day and drain well (figure 4 and 5). Beans should be well rinsed but should
not sit in water, or they may mold. Storing the jar upside down on paper towel
works well.
5. Sprouts will be ready to eat in three to seven days, depending on the seed
type (alfalfa three days, mung beans five to seven days, broccoli or radish,
three to five days). Sprouts not eaten right away may be rinsed well, drained,
and stored in the refrigerator for a few days.
Bean Sprout Diagram
1
2
3
4
5
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Activity:
1. Ask children if they’ve ever eaten beans before. “What kinds of beans have
you eaten?” (Examples: pinto in refried beans, chick peas in hummus, red
beans and rice, sweet bean paste in bean cakes, etc.)
2. Discuss the health benefits of eating beans (see Key Talking Points below).
3. “What food group are beans in?” (Example: meat and beans, along with
poultry, fish, eggs, and nuts)
4. What part of a plant is a bean? (seed)
5. Have children color and fill out the sprout parts sheet. Ask, “When we eat
sprouts, what part of the bean are we eating?”
6. Compare the sprout parts sheet to a sprout.
KEY TALKING POINTS:
1. Beans are in the Meat and Bean group because they are a good source of
protein (to grow strong muscles).
2. Beans are also high in fiber (which works like a broom to sweep out your
digestive system), low in fat (so they are low in calories compared to many
protein foods), inexpensive, and easy to store.
3. Bean sprouts are an interesting fresh vegetable that children may not have
tried before, and they are easy to grow.
4. Sprout is the youngest form of a plant. Every time a bean sprouts, a plant
is born.
5. Mung beans are the most common sprout, and are found in many Asian
food dishes.
6. Sprouts are good eaten raw or with dip.
AT THE END OF THIS ACTIVITY, CHILDREN WILL BE ABLE TO:
1. Identify different kinds of beans.
2. Identify plant parts (seeds and roots) as food.
3. Grow their own healthy snack.
GO FURTHER:
Use sprouts in HE-18: Food as Art or HE-15: Baby Beans and Seed Snacks
SOURCE: Boston Medical Center, Nutrition and Fitness for Life Program, 2010.
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Bean Sprout Parts
Root
Stem
Leaf
Food (the original seed)
Can you identify the parts of the sprout in the picture above?
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TIME: 5 minutes a
day for a week, then
30 minutes
GRADE: All
SUMMARY:
Children will grow
their own sprouts
to use in other
activities or to enjoy
as a healthy snack.
HE-17: Windowsill Gardening
DID YOU KNOW?
Many children have little direct experience of where their food comes from.
One way to get them interested in healthy foods is to let them grow the foods.
MATERIALS:
• Beans to plant
• Pots for planting
(clean, empty yogurt containers with holes in the bottom work well)
• Tray for pots, to catch water that drains through holes
• Potting soil
• Labels for pots
• A sunny window
ACTIVITY:
1. Give one pot to each child. They may label them with waterproof markers,
so each child can identify their pot.
2. Have them fill the pot to within about1/2 inch of the rim with moistened
potting soil.
3. Give each child one bean seed. Have them put a small hole in the middle of
the soil, about1/2 inch deep, and put the bean in the hole. Cover with soil,
and water thoroughly.
4. Place all the pots in the tray and sit them on a sunny windowsill.
5. Over the next few weeks, keep the soil moist. Check daily, to make sure the
soil doesn’t dry out.
6. Discussion while planting (see Key Talking Points below):
• “Today we’re going to plant some beans. What are beans?”
(things you eat, seeds of plants)
• “Have you ever eaten beans? (yes) What kinds of beans have you
eaten? (baked, refried, green beans, etc.) Did you like them?”
• “Where did the beans come from that you ate? (a can, the grocery
store) How did they get into the can/grocery store? (somebody
must have grown them) Who do you suppose grew the beans
that you ate? (a farmer) Where did they grow?”
• “What other things that you eat are grown by farmers?
What other things that you eat were planted as seeds?
What other things could we grow that we could eat?”
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KEY TALKING POINTS:
1. Plants are a basic source of many healthy foods that are low in fat and high
in fiber and many vitamins and minerals.
2. Three of the food groups are made up of plant foods: grains, fruits
and vegetables.
3. Plant foods are also found in the protein group: beans and nuts,
which are both seeds or parts of seeds.
4. Plants need water, soil and sun to grow.
AT THE END OF THIS ACTIVITY, CHILDREN WILL BE ABLE TO:
1. Recognize that many foods come from plants.
2. See a bean plant grow and develop.
GO FURTHER:
1. Read Tops and Bottoms by Janet Stevens. This is the retelling of a folk tale
about a wily rabbit and a lazy bear.
2. Visit a local farm with your class.
SOURCE: Boston Medical Center, Nutrition and Fitness for Life Program, 2010.
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TIME: 40 minutes
HE-18: Food as Art
GRADE: All
SUMMARY:
Children will
construct a simple
sculpture made
of vegetables and
then eat it for a
healthy snack.
DID YOU KNOW?
Children generally eat fewer servings of vegetables and fruits per day than are
recommended for good health.
MATERIALS:
• Various vegetables and fruits, washed and cut up into manageable
small pieces:
Cauliflower
Jicama
Celery sticks
String beans
Zucchini
Yellow squash
Cherry or grape tomatoes
Baby carrots
Broccoli florets
Red pepper strips
Grapes
Bananas
Bean or alfalfa sprouts
Apples
Pears
Pea pods
• Paper plates
• Plastic knives
• Dipping sauces optional (Low Fat Ranch Dressing is a favorite)
ACTIVITY:
Please be sure to have all those involved in the activity properly wash their hands.
If a new food is being consumed, please make caregivers aware and receive
permission before doing this activity.
Set-up:
1. All vegetables must be washed first.
2. Some vegetables will need to be trimmed or cut to size. Adults can pre-cut,
and plastic knives can be provided for children to cut softer vegetables.
Activity:
1. All food artists must wash their hands.
2. Children may work individually, or may be grouped two or three to a plate.
3. Have children arrange vegetables on plates until they have created a
sculpture, a face, a scene, a superhero, or some other creation. Dipping
sauce, if provided, can be used as glue, background, clouds, etc.
4. After the works of art are complete, let each group guess what other groups’
creations are supposed to be.
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5. Now each group can eat their creation. This is a super healthy snack!
Talk about what makes these foods good snack choices (see Key Talking
Points below).
KEY TALKING POINTS:
1. It’s essential to eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables every day
because they provide the vitamins, minerals, and fiber your body needs
to stay healthy and fit.
2. Eating a variety of colors is the best way to get all the nutrients you need to
stay healthy because many of the different vitamins and minerals that make
fruits and vegetables good for us also give them their different colors.
3. By eating fruits and vegetables of various colors you can help maintain:
• Strong bones, hair, and teeth
• Memory function
• Vision health
• Energy to keep you going
AT THE END OF THIS ACTIVITY, CHILDREN WILL BE ABLE TO:
1. Identify a variety of vegetables and fruits.
2. Taste a variety of vegetables and fruits.
GO FURTHER:
1. Food As Art can be used to convey similar messages even if it’s not eaten.
2. Sculptures and pictures of healthy foods for a classroom display can be an
arts and crafts project, if you have space for a display (wall space and/or
shelf space).
3. Appreciation for the beauty and variety of edible plants can be conveyed
and, by extension, the pleasure of eating a variety of foods (interesting, fun,
an adventure).
4. Tasting Chart activity can be used if some foods are unfamiliar.
5. The Food Pyramid: It’s About Variety activity; point out that this is variety.
6. Sprouting Seeds activity for K-2.
7. Put together Bulletin Board 3: Good Health Is Always In Season. Promotes
discussion about growing fruits and vegetables, what it means for them to be
in season, and seasonal holidays.
8. Put together Bulletin Board 4: Color Me Healthy. Children use pictures of
fruits and vegetables from the different color groups to construct a colorful
peacock picture.
ADAPTED FROM: Turning up the Learning with Healthy Classroom Cooking: A Teacher’s
Guide to Cooking Across the Curriculum, KidsFirst Rhode Island and
Rhode Island Team Nutrition.