Food n' Fitness Kid Connection: Vibrant Veggies, Complete Exercise

Content by: NCES, Inc.

Food n' Fitness Kid Connection is a comprehensive Lesson Plan for kids of all ages...

Food n' Fitness Kid Connection:  Vibrant Veggies, Complete Exercise
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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.

At the beginning of the lesson draw a circle on a piece of white paper and section it off into four quarters. Color the lower left section with a green marker or crayon and place it on the wall. If you still have the plate you used from the grains lesson you can use that one. You will color in the section on the opposite corner to the grain group green.

DISCUSSION GUIDE:

Vegetables grow across the United States and are parts of plants that you can eat. We should eat vegetables everyday. They come in a rainbow of different colors – red, orange, yellow, green, blue/purple and white.

🍅 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


Question: I have a question for you; have you ever eaten a green or red flower? [Give them a chance to say no, yuck or gross]. Then ask them if they have ever eaten broccoli or tomatoes?

Learning: Vegetables are parts of plants. Broccoli and tomatoes are actually the flowering part of the plant.

Question: What are some other parts of plants? [Gives students opportunity to respond.]
Answer: Parts of the plant include not only the flower, but also leaves, roots, seeds, stems, and even tubers and bulbs. [You can also share some examples of other vegetables, flowers: peppers and eggplants; leaves: lettuce and spinach; roots: carrots and beets; seeds: peas and green beans; stems or stalks: celery; tubers: potatoes; bulbs: onions.]

Learning: Vegetables help keep our bodies healthy. They can be eaten raw or cooked. Vegetables have vitamin A, which helps keep your eyes healthy and helps you see in the dark. Many veggies also have vitamin C which can help heal cuts and bruises. Vegetables also give our body fiber which is important for healthy digestion. Vitamin C can help their body fight infections, like colds.

VEGGIE FACT FINDER

Have children research a favorite vegetable. Ask them to work with their parents or caregivers to find the vegetable at the grocery store, what is the price, where it grows, when is it in season, how it is harvested, is it a root, tuber, stem, leaf, seed, or flower of the plant, how could they use it and maybe share a new recipe with the class. 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, or show the class using a website.

MAP-IT ACTIVITY
Vegetables are grown all across the United States. As a class or in small groups have students research where certain vegetable crops are grown.

Log onto http://www.nass.usda.gov/census/census02/volume1/us/index2.htm for information on crop growth.

Make copies of the blank UnitedStates map included in the support materials and have students mark with stickers, stamps, or colored x’s where vegetables are grown.

BAG-IT ACTIVITY

Supplies
• Five bags (1 red, 1 yellow or orange, 1 green, 1 blue or purple and 1 white)
• Food images

Sort pictures of colorful vegetables into the correct colored bag, use magazines, plastic food models, real food, or have children draw and color pictures of vegetables. We have included some images in the support materials to help you get started, just download and print.

VEGGIE POST ACTIVITY

Take a piece of red, orange, green, purple and white butcher paper and post on the wall, have students brainstorm colorful fruits and vegetables and write the names on the paper.

VEGGIE VARIETY ACTIVITY

Using the Healthy Score Card have students track their vegetable intake for a week; encourage them to eat a variety of colorful vegetables. You may want to send a note to parents asking the whole family to participate. After they complete the activity discuss the different vegetables they ate, asking about the color, shape, and if they tried any new ones. You can also see if they ate the recommended amount.

VEG OUT ACTIVITY

Bring in a vegetable platter with fat-free Ranch Dressing for students to try. Allow students to serve themselves. Ask them to share which vegetable is their favorite. 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.

Demonstration:

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

Step 1: Using measuring cups, show children how many veggies they need each day. You can use frozen, fresh, or canned veggies.

Step 2: 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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