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Eat the Rainbow!

An interactive game that teaches students the importance of eating a variety of healthy snack foods

Tags: nutrition activities, middle school

OVERVIEW
Description: Students walk, skip, and hop around the classroom suggesting healthy snack foods of various colors.
Objective: Students will recognize the importance of eating a variety of foods for dinner.
Materials: Five to ten sheets each of red, green, and brown construction paper and one to two sheets each of pink, orange, yellow, black, blue or purple, and white construction paper for a total of one sheet per student
ACTIVITY
  1. Spread the construction papers out on the floor around the room.
  2. Have the class form a big circle.
  3. Quickly review why it is important to eat different kinds of healthy foods every day (because each one helps our bodies in different ways). Tell them they should eat a variety of textures, flavors, and colors, and that today they will focus on colors.
  4. Tell the students they are going to play "Eat the Rainbow!"
  5. Explain that each colored paper represents all healthy snack foods of that color.
  6. On your signal, they should move around the room using the movement you name (walk, hop, skip, etc).
  7. When you say "SNACK," the students should find the nearest open sheet of paper and stand next to it.
  8. Then ask all the students who are standing near a red sheet to name a healthy red food they can eat for dinner.
  9. Have the students move again and this time when you say "SNACK," ask the students who are standing near an orange sheet to name orange foods.
  10. Continue until you have gone through all the colors or until you have run out of time.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Children should be encouraged to eat foods from each of the five food groupings everyday. These groupings are:

  • grains (whole grains are healthiest)
  • vegetables
  • fruits
  • milk and milk products (low-fat milk and milk products are the healthiest choices)
  • meats, beans, and nuts

One way to encourage variety is through color.

"Energy"/"Go" foods refer to nutritious foods which give the body the energy to go and grow. "Empty"/"Slow" foods refer to foods high in fat and added sugar which can slow the body down.

Healthy ("Energy"/"Go") Colorful Snack Foods:

  • Red—cherries, apples, raspberries, strawberries, peppers, tomatoes, beans
  • Orange—oranges, mangoes, low-fat cheddar cheese, carrots, peaches
  • Yellow—bananas, peppers, corn, pineapples
  • Green—string beans, kiwi, apples, pears
  • Blue or purple—blueberries, corn, cabbage, plums, grapes
  • Pink—grapefruit, strawberry yogurt
  • Brown—whole wheat bread, bagels, peanut butter, granola
  • Black—black beans, blackberries
  • White—low-fat milk, low-fat mozzarella cheese, coconuts, yogurt

Less Healthy ("Empty"/"Slow") Snack Foods and Drinks:

  • hot dogs
  • whole milk
  • candy
  • cookies
  • doughnuts
  • white bread
  • french fries
  • potato chips
  • soft drinks

Related National Standards

NHES: 1.8.1, 1.8.2, 1.8.7, 5.8.4, 5.8.6, 7.8.1, 7.8.2
NSPSELA: E3b, E3c
NSPE: 1, 5
NS: NS.5-8.6

Further information about the national standards can be found here.

Youth and Schools