Color My Plate

Students sing and learn about colorful vegetables for lunch

Tags: nutrition activities, elementary school, lunch

OVERVIEW
Description: Students march and skip around the room, singing a fill-in-the-blank song about vegetables as they go.
Objective: Students will identify a variety of vegetables they can eat for lunch.
Materials: Pictures of vegetables or the vegetables themselves (see below for which vegetables)
ACTIVITY
  1. Ask the students to stand in a large circle.
  2. Explain that vegetables are a great thing to eat for lunch because they give us the energy to learn and play all day long. Tell them vegetables also help us fight off colds and help our bodies get rid of the parts of food that we don’t need. This is why we poop!
  3. Tell them there are lots of different kinds of vegetables and each one does something special and different for our bodies (carrots help our eyesight, broccoli keeps our hearts healthy, etc). Point out vegetables can be eaten for lunch in soups, sandwiches, salads, or by themselves.
  4. Brainstorm some vegetables with the students (see below for options). If you have them, pass out the pictures of vegetables or vegetables themselves so the students get acquainted with them.
  5. Tell the students they are going to play "Color My Plate."
  6. Explain that as you clap, they should begin to march around the circle to the clapping beat. When you stop clapping, they should freeze in place. Remind them to stay behind the person in front of them.
  7. As they move, say the following chant: "I looked at my plate and what did I see? I saw a (color word: red, yellow, orange) (name of vegetable) looking at me. Yummy!"
  8. Once you finish the verse, stop your clapping beat, wait for the students to stop moving, then choose one student to name a vegetable and its color. Have them begin moving around the circle again as you repeat the verse with the class using this vegetable and its color.
  9. Change the students’ movements to include skipping, hopping, etc.

Activity Variation

If time permits, introduce some less common vegetables (see below) and ask each student to name one new vegetable she or he will try. You can encourage them to have their parents buy one new vegetable each week.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

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, kindergarteners should eat 1 ½ servings of vegetables a day. One serving of vegetables is about:

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

Colorful Vegetables:

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

Related National Standards

NHES: 1.2.1, 7.2.1
NSPSELA: E3b
NSPE: 1, 5
NS: NS.K-4.6

Further information about the national standards can be found here.

Youth and Schools