Last March, twenty-one second grade students at Elmwood Elementary School in Millbury received a lesson called “Eating a Rainbow” taught by FSU Food and Nutrition intern, Carolyn Holland. This lesson, adapted from United Way, is intended to encourage students to eat a variety of colored fruits and vegetables by educating on the health benefits associated with eating each color.
During the lesson, students were provided with fruit and vegetable riddles, and were asked to guess the name of the fruit or vegetable and its color. After determining the five colored groups, students worked to brainstorm a list of fruits and vegetables of a designated color.
After presenting their list of fruits and vegetables to the class, students were educated on the health benefits related to each. By the end of the lesson, students were able to name the five colored fruit and vegetable groups and the health benefits associated with eating fruits and vegetables of different colors. For example, when asked the question, “What color fruits or vegetables should we eat to help our brain power and memory in school?”, students responded with “Blue, black or purple!” Students were able to recognize that blue, black and purple fruits and vegetables are categorized in the same colored group, because they provide us with nutrients that help boost our brain function and memory.
The Millbury Public Schools’ Wellness Policy states the district has “a responsibility to help students and staff establish and maintain life-long healthy eating patterns” as “wellness is an essential ingredient for optimizing student performance and potential.” The policy supports “wellness, good nutrition, and regular physical activity as part of the total learning environment.”
For more resources on wellness policies and ways to incorporate nutrition education at your school, visit the School Wellness Initiative and Policies page at the JSI Resource Center and the Wellness Solution for Massachusetts website.
~ blog provided by Carolyn Holland, FSU Food and Nutrition Student