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Vegetable Rainbow

Students think of healthy pizza toppings in this interactive game

Tags: nutrition activities, elementary school, additional activities

Description: Students walk, skip, and hop around the classroom suggesting colorful and healthy veggies to spice up their pizza pie.
Objective: Students will learn how to make pizza healthier.
Materials: Five to ten sheets each of red and green construction paper and one to two sheets each of orange, yellow, purple, and white construction paper for a total of one sheet per student; optionally, pictures or a chart with different colored vegetables or the vegetables themselves.
  1. Before the class begins, scatter the construction paper across the floor.
  2. Ask the class if they like pizza. Tell them depending on how it is made, pizza can either be a "slow" or a "go" food.
  3. Explain that pizza with low-fat cheese and healthy toppings is a "go" food. Tell them vegetables are a healthy pizza topping. (Encourage the kids who don’t like vegetables on their pizza to eat vegetables in other ways such as in salads or soups.) If you have them, point out the chart or pictures, pass out the vegetables, or brainstorm some colorful vegetables with the students (see below).
  4. Tell the students each colored paper represents vegetables of that color.
  5. On your signal, they should move around the room using the movement you name (walk, hop, skip, etc.). When you say "PIZZA," the students should find the nearest open sheet of paper and stand next to it. Then ask some students standing near a red sheet to name red vegetables they can put on pizza.
  6. Have the students move again, and this time when you say "PIZZA," ask some students who are standing near an orange sheet to name orange vegetables.
  7. Continue until you have gone through all the colors.
  8. If time permits, review some of the healthy pizza toppings mentioned.

Vegetables provide carbohydrates, vitamins A and C, and folate. (Folate helps the body form red blood cells which prevent anemia.) Most also provide high amounts of fiber, and some, especially dark, leafy greens, provide essential minerals such as potassium and iron. They keep the eyes, skin, and blood healthy, help reduce blood pressure, protect against infections, heal cuts and wounds, keep teeth and gums healthy, prevent constipation, and help children maintain a proper body weight because when they eat vegetables they feel full on fewer calories.

In general, K – 4th graders should eat 1½ servings of vegetables a day. One serving of vegetables is about:

  • ½ cup raw non-leafy or cooked vegetables
  • 1 cup raw leafy vegetables (such as spinach)

Colorful Vegetables:

  • Red--peppers, beets, rutabaga, radishes
  • Orange--pumpkins, peppers, sweet potatoes
  • Yellow--peppers, squash, corn
  • Green--lettuce, broccoli, peppers, Brussels sprouts, spinach, bok choy
  • Purple--eggplant, beets
  • White--cauliflower, mushrooms, potatoes, onions, turnips

Related National Standards

NHES: 1.2.1, 5.2.1, 7.2.1
NSPE: 1, 5
NS: NS.K-4.6

Further information about the national standards can be found here.

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