Preschoolers nutritional activity: Can You Eat the Rainbow?

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I had to quickly come up with an activity for 4 and 5 year old migrant school students. They were coming to tour the hospital and one of the teachers asked specifically for an activity with Dietary. Not only did I have limited Spanish, it also had been a long time since I dealt with children of that age!

Knowing that preschoolers are really into learning colors, I fashioned an activity page based on the rainbow and different colors of fruit. As I greeted the children I asked if they believed they could eat a rainbow. Most of the children emphatically declared “No!” Next I asked if they believed they could eat colors? When I showed them the activity page with different colors of fruit they shouted, “Yes!” I explained that if they ate many different colors of fruit and vegetables they could have a healthy diet. Following that introduction, I showed them how to prepare a fruit parfait. I had three different flavors of yogurt, a bowl of granola, and three different kinds of chopped fresh fruit. While preparing my parfait as an example, I made comments such as, “Yum, green grapes! Bright red strawberries! Yellow bananas! I love them all.” Then with the teachers’ assistance, we had groups of four build their own parfaits. I also explain how yogurt is part of the dairy group and is very important in building bones. I have yet had one child refuse the yogurt and they loved being able to choose which kinds of fruit to use. I was happy to see the teachers have been introducing nutrition at this early age.

By Kay Hougan-Jones, CDM, CFPP, Director of Dietary, Othello Community Hospital

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