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
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
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.