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Fruit Scramble

Students get moving and dancing while learning a variety of healthy fruits

Tags: nutrition activities, middle school, breakfast

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 breakfast.
Materials: Small bell, whistle, or breakfast-related noisemaker (e.g. spoon banging on cereal bowl); pictures of fruits or the fruits themselves (see below for which ones)
  1. Gather the students into a circle.
  2. Ask them how they include fruit in their breakfast meals.
  3. Tell them eating fruit keeps their skin soft, their hair shiny and helps them fight off colds among other things. Explain that 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).
  4. Tell them they should eat about 1 ½ servings of fruit every day (see below for serving size amounts). If you have them, pass out the pictures of fruits or the fruits.
  5. Explain that they are going to play "Fruit Scramble."
  6. Tell the students you will call out fruits (see below). For example, you can say: "If you have ever eaten blackberries for breakfast, change spots when the ‘breakfast bell’ rings."
  7. Everyone who has eaten blackberries for breakfast should hop to a new empty spot in the circle. (You can either mimic the sound of a bell or use an actual 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. Continue playing while naming various fruits. You can vary the movements (skip, jump, slide, etc.) the students use or ask those who have both tried and liked blackberries to change spots. You can also have them play "Musical Chairs" style so the person in the center is trying to steal some one else’s spot.
  10. If time permits, ask each student to name one new fruit she or he will try. (You can even suggest they ask their parents to bring one new fruit home each week.)

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 you couldn’t find them in a local grocery store.


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 an even better choice. In general, 5th – 8th 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
  • a half 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: 1.8.1, 1.8.2, 1.8.3, 7.8.1, 7.8.2
NSPE: 1, 5
NS: NS.5-8.6

Further information about the national standards can be found here.

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