Healthy Eating with Nurse Megan Buchanan,
Today I visited the Preschool and Prekindergarten classrooms to begin a series of lessons on nutrition. We began with “Eating a Rainbow,” a lesson focused on eating fresh fruits and vegetables to support health, growth, and thinking!
The message to “Eat a Rainbow” of fresh fruits and vegetables teaches students that by eating many different colors every week, we increase the number of nutrients we give to our whole bodies. The children learned how specific colors of fruits and veggies are generally rich in the same nutrients, and therefore support the same function in the body.
- Reds support a healthy heart;
- Yellow and Orange support good eyesight and our ability to heal;
- Greens build strong bones and help digestion;
- Purple and Blue support good memory;
- White fruits and veggies support our immune system.
We know that each fruit or vegetable color supports health in more than one way, but by stressing 1-2 attributes and linking them to a physical body part, children will connect why eating a rainbow of colors is important for our whole bodies! In the future I will talk with the children about proteins, grains, fats, and sleep as well.
Fruit and Veggie School Snack Ideas
Carrot & Celery Sticks, Cucumber slices, Cherry Tomatoes; Broccoli Trees; and Small Cooked Potatoes (they come in many fun colors!)
Don’t forget the DIPS! Yogurt, cream cheese, cottage cheese, hummus, salsa,Guacamole… the list goes on!
*If providing pre-packaged fruit, please read labels to avoid syrup or added sugars.
Water is the best!!! 4 year olds need about 5 cups (or 1 liter of fluid) per day… and sipping from a water bottle is a great habit!
Low fat Milk counts within the 5 cups and provides important nutrients.
Only 1 glass (4 to 6 ounces) of 100 % juice per day (please keep in mind that juice at lunch is poor timing for a good nap, too much sugar!)
Unless your doctor recommends an electrolyte supplement during illness, in most cases, sports drinks are not a healthy choice.
A couple resources: