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Lesson 13: Fruits and Vegetables Inside and Out
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For more information about the understandings, essential questions, and alignment of this lesson to National Health Education Standards, State Standards, please visit our website, www.roadoflife.org
Note to the Teacher: Fruits and vegetables are a very important part of maintaining health. Without proper intake of fruits and vegetables, people lack essential nutrients that help with normal body function. Many people know that fruits and vegetables are healthy, but they do not know why. There are a variety of reasons why people do not eat fruits and vegetables. One of the main reasons is that they do not have access to fruits and vegetables. Another barrier might be that they were never exposed to fruits and vegetables and therefore never developed a like for their taste. This exercise is to familiarize children with the tastes and names of fruits and vegetables. The goal is for children to find out what a fruit or vegetable is through scientific inquiry. By gaining an appreciation for a fruit or vegetable’s taste, students will hopefully begin to eat a wider variety of fruits and vegetables. In addition, students will understand how fruits and vegetables benefit them and how to get a variety of fruits and vegetables in their diet by eating different colored vegetables.
**Very Important: The activity in this lesson includes tasting fruits and vegetables. It is necessary to pay very close attention to any food allergies that your students may have.**
Begin by asking students to name their favorite fruits and vegetables. Write down their responses on the chalkboard or on a transparency. Is there a wide variety of fruits and vegetables listed? Ask the students if they think they can get the nutrients that they need from just the foods listed. Explain that one fruit or one vegetable does not contain all the nutrients your body needs to be healthy. Explain that fruits and vegetables and how they help our bodies can be put into categories by color. The color groups and their descriptions are listed below:
Blue/Purple: Fruits and vegetables in this group help to reduce one’s risk of developing some cancers and improve one’s memory function. This group includes: blackberries, blueberries, black currants, plums, purple grapes, raisins, purple cabbage and eggplant.
Green: Fruits and vegetables in this group promote vision health, strong bones and teeth and a reduction for the risk of some cancers. This group includes: avocados, green apples, green grapes, limes, green peppers, broccoli, green beans, cucumbers, celery, spinach, zucchini, peas and leafy greens (lettuce).
White: Fruits and vegetables in this group promote heart health and a lower risk of some cancers. This group includes: bananas, cauliflower, mushrooms, onions, white corn and potatoes.
Yellow/Orange: These fruits and vegetables promote a healthy immune system, heart health, vision health and a lower risk of some cancers. This group includes: cantaloupe, grapefruit, lemon, mangoes, peaches, pineapple, carrots, yellow peppers, sweet corn and oranges.
Red: These fruits and vegetables promote heart health, memory function and a lower risk of some cancers. They include: red apples, cherries, cranberries, red grapes, pink/red grapefruit, strawberries, watermelon, beets, red pepper and tomatoes.
•More information can always be obtained at www.5aday.org . There is a special section for educators. Additional ideas for conveying these messages to children are also provided.
•Students should strive for five fruits and vegetables a day. They can try to eat one fruit or vegetable from each color group to make it easy to remember. It is not as important that students remember how each fruit helps us stay healthy. It is most important that they increase their fruit and vegetable intake and eat a variety of fruits and vegetables.
Learning Activity: Fruit and Vegetable Line Up
• A variety of fruits and vegetables
• Index cards
• 1 student worksheet per student
•Students are bound to use a variety of adjectives to describe taste, texture, etc. Use this opportunity to discuss synonyms and antonyms.
•Ask the students to bring in fruits and vegetables that are culturally significant to them.