Health & Nutrition - Importance of Fruits and Vegetables

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Book Cover and Preschool Lesson Plan
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Eric Carle's The Very Hungry Caterpillar provides a great segue for discussing the importance of fruits and vegetables in your preschoolers' diets. We found this fun lesson plan/book extension at the Florida Department of Health website. Here are a few of the highlights, but be sure to head on over there for the full activity set!

Story Participation

We love getting students involved in story time! As your kiddos file into class {or up to the carpet for story/circle time}, hand each child the picture of a piece of fruit – a plum, an apple, an orange, a pear, or a strawberry. Before getting into the story, review the different types of fruit, then invite your students to hold up their fruit “sign” when they hear the name of the fruit in the story. This is a great way to engage young listeners and develop listening skills!

Fruit Matching Game

Create tree or bush cutouts for each type of fruit – adding a fruit cutout to designate which is which. Divide students into two teams and provide each team with a basket of assorted fruit cutouts. On the count, invite students from each team to select a cutout from the basket and run to the matching tree in the fruit grove, place the cutout on the tree, and run back. The first team to place all the pieces of fruit on the proper trees, wins! [NOTE: To distinguish between teams, and to determine which team is in 'violation' in the event of a misplaced cutout, either mount the cutouts onto construction paper, a different color for each team, or place a distinguishing mark onto the back of each fruit cutout – a one or an “A” on the back of the first team and a two or a “B” for the second team. Using the last method, you could even get away with marking only one set.]

This is a variation of the game described at the Florida DOH lesson page, so be sure to visit the full post for a game alternative, various crafts, story props and much more! The activities certainly provide a fun way to learn how many servings of fruits and vegetables are needed for a healthy, balanced diet!