Did you know that it’s National Nutrition Month? It’s also the month of rainbows! Thanks to St. Patrick’s Day, March is the time when we start to see colorful symbols of spring, good luck, and yes – healthy eating!
This month I’m bringing you two new Rainbow Food Activities to help teach students the importance of eating a variety of fruits and vegetables from different color groups. Each activity includes very basic yoga poses to reinforce the importance of routine physical activity.
The Rainbow Foods Board Game and Rainbow Foods Matching Game are designed to help students answer the following essential questions based on the OPEN Priority Learning Outcomes for Nutrition (K-5):
- What foods promote good health?
- What are the health benefits of different foods?
Most of us understand that fruits and vegetables promote good health. However, most adults and children don’t eat enough of them. Constant reinforcement of the importance of these two food groups is one way that schools can normalize healthy eating.
So, now that we’ve established the importance of fruits and vegetables, we can define the health benefits of eating the rainbow. There are different ways of grouping fruit and vegetable colors according to health benefits. I’ve organized them to match the color spectrum that students learn in schools while highlighting one or two key benefits of each color.
- Red: Best known for lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that may help fight cancer & protect against heart attacks.
- Orange: Contain beta- and alpha-carotene which the body turns into vitamin A. Orange is good for eye, skin and bone health, and may fight cancer.
- Yellow: Contain lutein, which is good for your eyes. Yellow foods also contain vitamin C which is important for immune system health.
- Green: Contain isothiocyanates and many other phytonutrients. Green fruits & veggies are good for your heart, digestion, and may help fight cancer.
- Blue & Purple: Contain anthocyanin. This phytonutrient is really good for heart health and may be a powerful defense in the body’s fight against cancers.
One more thing. Role modeling is a powerful teaching tool so I’d like to invite all teachers to join me in taking the Have A Plant Pledge. It’s easy! Simply add one more fruit or veggie to your daily routine for a month. It can be any fruit or vegetable – apples, broccoli, canned fruit or salsa cups. Take the pledge and share your commitment with your students. Talk about the fruits and vegetables you’re consciously adding to your daily menu and encourage them to ask for fruits and veggies at home. (Take the pledge.)
Happy National Nutrition Month and enjoy my Rainbow Food Activities.
|Rainbow Food Activities|
|Rainbow Foods Board Game [Google Slides, PDF, PPT]|
YouTube Video Demonstration
|Rainbow Foods Matching Game [Google Slides, PPT]|
YouTube Video Demonstration