Food n' Fitness Kid Connection: Vibrant Veggie, Single Activity

Content by: NCES, Inc.

We should eat vegetables everyday! They come in a rainbow of different colors – red, orange, yellow, green, blue/purple and white. A fun classroom activity for kids...

Food n' Fitness Kid Connection:  Vibrant Veggie, Single Activity
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INSTRUCTOR BACKGROUND:

Vegetables are power packed with many nutrients including carbohydrates, fiber, folic acid, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, potassium, calcium, magnesium and health-promoting phytochemicals. (Phytochemicals are substances found in foods that protect against disease.) The combination of nutrients found in vegetables aids in a healthy immune system, healthy eyes and skin, and helps heal cuts and bruises. Long-term benefits of eating vegetables may be a reduced risk for stroke, and other cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, reduced risk of developing kidney stones and may help to decrease bone loss. Children who eat vegetables typically grow up to be adults who eat vegetables.

DISCUSSION GUIDE:

● Vegetables are powerful plants filled with lots of nutrients.
● These nutrients protect our bodies against diseases.
● Vegetables are parts of plants that we can eat, and they grow all over the United States.
● They come in a rainbow of different colors, and different colors do different things for our bodies.
● We should eat vegetables every day so that they can do their job to keep our body healthy.

Activity:
Have 5 different color categories: Red, Orange & Yellow, White, Green, Blue & Purple.
Go through each category and ask kids to think of different vegetables that are this color.

Examples:
🍅 Red: tomatoes, red peppers, beets, radish, red onion, red potatoes, rhubarb

🥕 Orange/Yellow: carrots, orange & yellow peppers, sweet potatoes, acorn squash, butternut squash, pumpkin, orange and yellow tomatoes, corn, yellow summer squash, yellow winter squash

🧅 White: onion, corn, cauliflower, mushrooms, garlic, jicama, white potatoes, parsnips, turnips

🥦 Green: broccoli, spinach, green leafy lettuce, romaine lettuce, turnip greens, mustard greens, bok choy, green peppers, green peas, green beans, celery, snow peas, asparagus, okra, zucchini, green cabbage, green onions

🍆 Blue/Purple: eggplant, turnips, purple cauliflower, purple cabbage, purple peppers, purple carrots


***** For Older Kids (Optional) *****

Go over the nutrients associated with each color.

🍅 Red: Contains nutrients that protect our heart, and prevent heart disease.

🥕 Orange/Yellow: Vitamin A, keeps your eyes healthy. Vitamin C helps to heal cuts/bruises on our skin and fight of sickness.

🧅 White: Nutrients help to keep a healthy blood pressure and cholesterol.

🥦 Green: Vitamin K helps your blood to clot after getting a cut/scrape.

🍆 Blue/Purple: Antioxidants that protect against diseases and to promote a good memory as you age.

Demonstration:
How many veggies do you need to eat every day? Awesome kids like you need…

Answers:
Children 6-8 years old need 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 cups per day.
Children 9-12 years old need 2-3 cups per day.

🥦 Using measuring cups, show children how many veggies they need each day. You can use frozen, fresh, or canned veggies.

Explain that eating them cooked or raw, 1 cup of veggies at lunch and 1 cup at dinner can help them meet their needs. They can even incorporate veggies into their snacks.

NOTE: 1 cup of raw or cooked vegetables, 8 ounces of vegetable juice or two cups of raw leafy greens are considered 1 cup from the vegetable group.

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