Fruit Scramble

Students get moving and dancing while learning a variety of fruits for dessert

Tags: nutrition activities, elementary school, lunch

OVERVIEW
Description: Students hop in and out of a giant circle according to the fruits they hear.
Objective: Students will recognize a variety of fruits they can eat for lunch and dessert.
Materials (optional): Small bell, whistle, or lunch-related noisemaker (e.g. soup spoon banging on soup bowl)
ACTIVITY
  1. Gather the students into a circle.
  2. Ask them what some of their favorite dessert foods are. Remind them cakes, cookies, and ice-cream are "slow" foods and should not be eaten too often because they can slow our bodies down.
  3. Tell them fruit is a great alternative when they are craving something sweet for dessert after lunch. Tell them fruit helps us fight off colds, gives us energy, keeps our hair shiny, our skin soft, and our teeth and bones strong.
  4. Also tell them each type of fruit has different amounts and types of nutrients in it, so it is important to eat a variety of them (e.g. oranges provide vitamin C, which helps fight off colds and bananas provide potassium, which helps prevent muscle cramps). Then, tell them they should eat about 1½ servings of fruit a day (see below for serving size amounts).
  5. Explain that they are going to play "Fruit Scramble."
  6. Tell them you will call out various fruits (see below). For example, you can say: "If you have ever eaten blackberries for lunch, change spots when the lunch bell rings."
  7. Everyone who has eaten blackberries for lunch should hop to a new empty spot in the circle. (You can mimic the sound of a bell or use a real bell, whistle or noisemaker.)
  8. If only one student has tried the fruit, she or he should hop to the center of the circle and back to her or his original spot.
  9. You can vary the movements (skip, jump, slide, etc.) the students use to move around the circle or ask those who have both tried and liked blackberries to change spots.
  10. You can also have them play "Musical Chairs" style so the person in the center is trying to steal some one else’s spot.

Activity Note

While it is important to introduce students to new, healthy foods they can try, be sensitive to the limitations of lifestyle, income, transportation, etc. Try to include uncommon fruits, but not so uncommon they couldn’t find them in a local grocery store. If possible bring in fruits or pictures of them.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Fruit provides bodies with nutrients they need to stay healthy and strong. Fruits are an important source of fiber, complex carbohydrates, and other food components that can help reduce a person’s risk for chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer. They also provide vitamins (such as A and C), minerals, are low in calories, fat, and sodium, and contain no cholesterol. 100% juice is one way to get fruit servings, but whole fruit is a better choice.

In general, K-4th graders should eat 1 ½ servings of fruit per day and vary their fruit choices as fruits differ in nutrient content. One serving of fruit is about:

  • one medium piece of fruit (apple, pear)
  • six strawberries
  • two plums
  • fifteen grapes
  • 1/2 cup of 100% juice

More Common Fruits:

  • apples
  • oranges
  • bananas
  • cherries
  • pears
  • strawberries
  • blueberries
  • raspberries
  • watermelon

Less Common Fruits:

  • apricots
  • papayas
  • coconuts
  • kiwi
  • figs
  • plantains
  • cranberries
  • cantaloupes
  • starfruit
  • tangerines
  • lychee nuts

Related National Standards

NHES: 1.5.1, 1.5.2, 7.5.1, 7.5.2
NSPSELA: E3b
NSPE: 1, 5
NS: NS.K-4.6

Further information about the national standards can be found here.

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