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Vegetable Scramble

Students get moving while learning about a variety of vegetables

Tags: nutrition activities, elementary school, lunch

Description: Students hop in and out of a giant circle according to the vegetables they hear.
Objective: Students will recognize some vegetables they can have for lunch.
Materials: Small bell, whistle, or lunch-related noisemaker (e.g. soup spoon banging on a soup bowl); pictures of vegetables or the vegetables themselves (see below for which vegetables)
  1. Gather the students into a circle around you.
  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 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.).
  4. Vegetables can be eaten for lunch on their own or in salads, soups, sandwiches, or sauces. (If you have them, pass out the pictures or vegetables so the students become acquainted with them.)
  5. Tell the students they are going to play "Vegetable Scramble."
  6. Call out various vegetables (see below). For example, you can say "If you have ever eaten carrots for lunch, change spots when the ‘lunch bell’ rings."
  7. Everyone who has eaten carrots should hop to a new empty spot in the circle. (You can mimic the sound of a bell or use an actual bell, whistle or noisemaker.) If only one student has tried the vegetable, she or he should hop to the center of the circle and back to her or his original spot.
  8. Continue playing while naming various vegetables. 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 carrots to change spots.
  9. If time permits, ask each student to name one new vegetable she or he will try.

Activity Variation


Be sensitive to the limitations of lifestyle, income, transportation, etc. Try to include uncommon vegetables, but not so uncommon you couldn’t find them in a local grocery store.

In general, K-4th graders should eat 2-2½ 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)


  • carrots
  • peas
  • onions
  • celery
  • spinach
  • pumpkin
  • lettuce
  • sprouts
  • kale
  • beets
  • radishes
  • corn
  • turnips
  • okra
  • parsnips
  • cabbage
  • peppers (all colors)
  • potatoes
  • zucchini
  • mushrooms
  • broccoli
  • cauliflower
  • green beans
  • cucumbers
  • eggplant
  • summer squash
  • rutabaga
  • collard greens
  • snap peas
  • bok choy
  • Brussels sprouts

Related National Standards

NHES: 1.2.1, 5.2.1, 7.2.1
NSPE: 1, 2, 5
NS: NS.K-4.6

Further information about the national standards can be found here.

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