Food n' Fitness Kid Connection: Fantastic Fruit, Complete Activities
Content By: NCES, Inc.
Food n' Fitness Kid Connection is a comprehensive Lesson Plan for kids of all ages...
Fruits provide the body with essential nutrients like carbohydrates, fiber, folic acid, vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium and phyto-chemicals. The combination of these nutrients gives the body energy, encourages healthy eyes and skin, and aids in healing cuts and bruises.
An overall healthy diet, including fruits and vegetables, encourages the following long-term benefits, 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. Fruit is a fantastic addition to meals and also makes a super snack.
At the beginning of the lesson draw a circle on a piece of white paper and section it off into four quarters. Color the upper left section with a red marker or crayon and place it on the wall. If you still have the plate you used from the grains and vegetable lessons you can use that one. You will color the section above vegetables red.
Compare and Contrast Activity:
Step 1: Compare any of the following: peaches and nectarines, tangerines and oranges, grapefruit and oranges, bananas and plantains.
Step 2: Discuss the similarities and differences of the outside, how it smells and feels, the size; then open up and notice the similarities or differences on the inside. This is a great opportunity to discuss how the children are using their senses to compare the fruits.
Step 3: To go further discuss how they grow, when they are in season, are they available canned or frozen, how are they used, for example – peaches are used in pies, can be purchased in a can or frozen, but nectarines are not. Both may be found in fruit juice mixtures.
Fruit Fact Finder Activity:
Step 1: Have children research a favorite fruit.
Step 2: Ask them to work with their parents or caregivers to find the following...
🍑 the fruit at the grocery store
🍇 what is the price
🥝 how and where it grows, when it is in season
🍊 how it is harvested
🍋 how it is used, such as eaten whole, used in recipes etc.
Step 3: Depending on your class, you may ask them to bring in a sample or they can just bring in a picture, draw or color a picture of the fruit, or show the class using a website. (This could also be done as a class activity by pairing up students.)
Map It Activity:
Step 1: More than half of all apples grown in the United States for fresh eating come from orchards in Washington state.
Step 2: Log onto
to find out other states that grow apples.
Alternative: You can also use the United States map in the accompanying support materials and have children map where apples are grown or pick another type of fruit.
Fruit Basket Upset Activity:
Step 1: Reinforce the variety of colors fruits come in and the fact that they all provide our bodies with nutrients important for good health. 🍊🍇🍋🥝🍎
Step 2: Cut red, orange, white, green, and purple paper into circles, squares or triangles, shuffle all the colors together.
Step 3: Have student pull out a color (for younger children you could also hide the colors around the classroom and tell them to find a specific color and/or shape).
Step 4: Have students find other children with the same color and form a group.
Step 5: When groups are formed ask students to do 5 jumping jacks (or another physical activity) and then brainstorm and share as many fruits as they can think of in that color.
Step 6: Pick up the papers shuffle and do the activity again.
Step 7: To mix it up you can ask each color group to do a different physical activity, such as red – jumping jacks, blue – sit-ups, green – push-ups.
Apples-to-Apples Tasting Activity:
Step 1: Purchase at least three different varieties, wash, core and cut into slices. To prevent browning, avoid slicing apples too early. 🍎🍏🍎
Step 2: Did you know that there are over 100 varieties of apples grown in the United States, from red delicious to cameo? This tasting activity gives children an opportunity to taste different varieties of apples.
Step 3: Give each student a slice of each apple. You may want to give them one variety at a time. Take time to discuss if the apple is sweet or tart and note the color – dark red, green or yellow.
Step 4: After students have tasted all three, as a class pick the type that students liked best and designate it your “class apple!”
Step 5 You can use the “Graph It” handout and ask students to rank and graph the number of students voting for each apple.
Step 6: Prior to beginning any food tasting activity, lead the children in washing their hands with soap and water. Explain why it is important to wash our hands before and after eating.
Bag it Activity
● 5 bags (1 red, 1 yellow or orange, 1 green, 1 blue or purple and 1 white)
● Food images
Step 1: Sort pictures of colorful fruits into the correct colored bag, use magazines, plastic food models, real food, or have children draw and color pictures of fruits.
Step 2: Check out the accompanying support materials, we have included some images to help you get started, just download and print.
Step 3: Once sorted by color, the class can create a “rainbow of fruits” to stick to the wall. Rainbow colors always appear in the same order – Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo and Violet.
Fruit Post Activity
Step 1: Take a piece of red, orange, green, purple and white butcher paper and post on the wall, have students brainstorm colorful fruits and write the names on the paper.
Step 2: Discuss that many fruits are eaten fresh, but some are available frozen or in cans. These are great options when fresh varieties are not available. Be sure to encourage children and parents to purchase no sugar added frozen fruit and fruit canned in juice or light syrup, not heavy syrup.
Step 3: Have children list the different ways they can purchase fruit, examples, strawberries, fresh and frozen, oranges, fresh and in juice, pineapples, fresh, canned and in juice.
Fantastic Fruit Intake Activity
Step 1: Using the Healthy Score Card have students track their fruit intake for a week; encourage them to eat a variety of colorful fruits.
Step 2: You may want to send a note to parents asking the whole family to participate.
Step 3: After they complete the activity discuss the different fruits they ate, were they fresh, canned, frozen or juice. What new ones did they try? Did they get the recommended amount?
🍊 How many of you have a favorite fruit? [Let them share their answers]
Answer: Just like vegetables, there are a variety of fruits from which to choose. They can come fresh, frozen and canned.
Fruits come in the colors of the rainbow! Can you help me think of some?
Answer: red, orange, yellow, green, blue/purple and white. 🍎 🍊🍋🍇🥝
🍎 Red: apples, strawberries, raspberries, watermelon, cherries, red grapes
🍊 Orange/Yellow: oranges, cantaloupe, nectarines, peaches, tangerines, mangoes, papaya, grapefruit
🍋 White: bananas, pineapple, pears, lemons
🥝 Green: kiwi, grapes, green apples, limes, avocado
🍇 Blue/Purple: blueberries, purple grapes, plums, raisins
Fruits are a super snack choice. Name a few advantages?
● They are naturally sweet and taste great.
● Fruit tastes great, fruits also provide many vitamins and minerals that help keep your body healthy.
● Fruits like oranges are high in vitamin C which helps to heal cuts and bruises.
So, does that mean you can just rub an orange slice on your cut and it will get better?
● No, we have to eat it, food works from the inside of our body to the outside.
● Fruits also have vitamin A which helps keep your eyes and skin healthy.
*** For Older Students (9-12 years) ***
Fruits are a super snack choice. Name a few advantages?
● Fruits taste great and provide your body with many vitamins and minerals that help keep your body healthy.
● Fruits and vegetables have vitamin A, which helps keep your skin healthy and smooth.
● Fruit contain vitamin C to help heal cuts, bruises and fight infections.
🍊 ACHOO! Like colds and flu. Does it mean, if you have a cold and drink a gallon of orange juice and suddenly you’ll stop sneezing?
● What it means is that everyday we need to eat lots of different colors of fruits and veggies, so that we can either keep from getting sick in the first place or at least we get well faster.
● Although Vitamin C helps heal cuts and bruises, you can’t just slice open an orange, rub it on your cut or bruise and it magically disappears. First of all, that would probably hurt to rub it on an open cut and secondly, you have to eat/drink these foods everyday to keep your body healthy.
How many fruits do totally cool kids need?
Children 6-8 years old need 1 – 2 cups per day.
Children 9-12 years old need 1 1/2 – 2 cups per day.
Using measuring cups show children how many fruits they need each day. You can use frozen, fresh, or canned fruits.
🍎 Explain that eating 1/2 cup of fruit at breakfast and 1/2 cup at both lunch and dinner can help them meet their needs.
🍇 Fruit also makes a super snack.
NOTE: 1 cup of fruit or 8 ounces of 100% fruit juice or 1/2 cup of dried fruit is considered 1 cup from the fruit group. To get the most fiber encourage children to eat whole fruit over drinking fruit juice.
You’ve heard it before. Yes, breakfast is still the most important meal of the day! Whether you start your day at 7:00 a.m. or 11:00 a.m., you need to fuel your body and jump-start your day.
Mealtime Mania: Make time for Breakfast!