A Family Activity

Sharing the Gift of Fruits and Vegetables

Learning Objectives

By the end of the lesson, participants will be able to:

  • Know how to make personal and inexpensive gifts and crafts that encourage healthful eating.
  • Inform adult family members and friends about the importance of eating 3½ to 6½ cups of fruits and vegetables every day for good health.
  • Recognize how different quantities and types of fruits and vegetables add up to the recommended daily amounts.
  • Use the activities as creative reminders for including fruits and vegetables in their meals and snacks.

Creative Project 1:
Craft a Hearty Bean and Vegetable Soup Gift

Materials

  • 1-quart glass jars with lids
  • Snack-size plastic bags
  • Decorative ribbon with a fruit and/or vegetable pattern
  • Selected ingredients for the Hearty Bean and Vegetable Soup recipe, including dried pink beans, dried lentils, dried black beans, yellow split peas, dried kidney beans, dried blackeye peas, dried basil, dried rosemary, dried marjoram, crushed red chilies, salt, black pepper, and bay leaves
  • Six large bowls
  • Six sheets of 8½" x 11" paper
  • 8½" x 11" color cardstock
  • The Hearty Bean and Vegetable Soup recipe handout (p. H – 14)
  • What's in a Cup? handout (p. H – 2)
  • One pair of scissors
  • Single hole punch
  • Six, ½ cup measuring cups
  • Four sets of measuring spoons
  • To/from labels
  • Pens
  • The Energize Your Body with Fruits and Vegetables! poster (English and Spanish)

Preparation

  1. Buy the glass jars with lids, snack-size plastic bags, ribbon, to/from labels, colored cardstock, beans, lentils, peas, and spices, or ask your local retailer to donate the items or sell them at reduced cost.
  2. Form the six sheets of paper into individual funnels.
  3. Become familiar with the content of the handouts prior to implementing the lesson. Photocopy the Hearty Bean and Vegetable Soup recipe card handout onto colored cardstock, and hole punch each card in the upper left corner. Make sure to photocopy enough recipe cards for all participants. Also, photocopy the What's in a Cup? handout for each participant.
  4. Cut the ribbon into 34-inch long strips.
  5. Set up three stations to assemble the Hearty Bean and Vegetable Soup gift package.
    • At station one, place the glass jars and lids. Also, place the dried pink beans, dried lentils, dried black beans, yellow split peas, dried kidney beans, and dried blackeye peas in separate bowls. Place a ½ cup measuring cup in each bowl. Place the paper funnels next to each bowl of beans, and display the Hearty Bean and Vegetable Soup recipe.
    • At station two, place the snack-size plastic bags. Also, place containers of dried basil, dried rosemary, dried marjoram, crushed red chilies, salt, black pepper, and bay leaves. Place the measuring spoons with the spices, and display the Hearty Bean and Vegetable Soup recipe.
    • At station three, place the ribbon, Hearty Bean and Vegetable Soup recipe cards, to/from labels, and pens.
  6. Display the English and Spanish Energize Your Body with Fruits and Vegetables! poster.

Instructions

  1. Begin the lesson with a discussion about soup. Ask participants to share with the class their favorite soups and types of soup that they make at home for their families and friends. Discuss with participants the types of vegetables they like to use in their soup recipes, and how soups are a great way to enjoy vegetables.
  2. Introduce the activity to participants, and assemble the group at station one. At this station, have each participant select a glass jar and lid. Instruct the participants to fill their jars in the following order:
    • ½ cup dried pink beans
    • ½ cup dried lentils
    • ½ cup dried black beans
    • ½ cup yellow split peas
    • ½ cup dried kidney beans
    • ½ cup blackeye peas
    Have participants use the paper funnel to assist them in filling their jars.
  3. At station two, have each participant measure the spices according to the recipe, place the spices in a snack-size plastic bag, and place the filled bag into the jar on top of the beans.
  4. At station three, have each participant place a lid on his or her jar. Distribute a What's in a Cup? handout and Hearty Bean and Vegetable Soup recipe card to each participant. Review the What's in a Cup? handout with participants. Ask participants how they would include more vegetables in the soup recipe. Also, ask participants to take their recipe cards and write down, in the space provided, three ways to include fruit as a side dish with the Hearty Bean and Vegetable Soup. Have participants share their side dish suggestions with each other. Next, ask participants to select a piece of decorative ribbon, thread the ribbon through the hole in their recipe cards, place the ribbon around the top of their jars, and tie the ribbon in a bow.
  5. Conclude the activity with a discussion about how important it is to tell family members and friends to eat 3½ to 6½ cups of fruits and vegetables every day for good health. Have the family members and friends go to www.mypyramid.gov to find out exactly how many cups of fruits and vegetables they need. Talk with participants about how they might use creative projects, like the Hearty Bean and Vegetable Soup gift package, as a reminder to their family and friends to eat fruits and vegetables. Have each participant select a to/from label, write down the name of the family member or friend who will receive the special gift, and attach the label to the jar.

Creative Project 2:
Decorate a Colorful Kitchen Utensil Holder

Materials

Preparation

  1. Locate an adequate space with tables so participants have room to spread out and make the utensil holder.
  2. Gather large empty tin cans or ask participants to bring them from home.
  3. Buy clothespins, glue, clear self-adhesive shelf paper, scissors, 1½-inch loose-leaf book rings, and colored cardstock, or ask your local retailer to donate the items or sell them at a reduced cost.
  4. Collect magazines and/or produce advertisements with colorful pictures of fruits and vegetables.
  5. Photocopy the California Marinated Salad, Tortilla Pizzas, Chicken and Vegetables with Mole Sauce, Sautéed Okra with Onions and Tomatoes, and Chicken and Vegetable Creole recipe card handouts onto colored cardstock, hole-punch each card in the upper left corner, and group the recipes into sets for each participant.
  6. Photocopy the Health Benefits of Eating Fruits and Vegetables handout for each participant, and become familiar with the content prior to implementing the lesson.

Instructions

  1. Ask participants to share with the class their favorite fruits and vegetables. Have participants discuss which fruits and vegetables they use most often in the meals and snacks they prepare at home. Write the list on the board or sheet of paper for the class to see.
  2. Distribute the Health Benefits of Eating Fruits and Vegetables handout to each participant, and review the information. Ask participants to share their impressions.
  3. Distribute the empty cans, glue, scissors, and magazines and/or produce advertisements. Instruct participants to find and cut out pictures of colorful fruits and vegetables. Explain that to get the most health benefits, participants should eat different colored fruits and vegetables every day (e.g. blue/purple, yellow/orange, green, red, and white).
  4. Have participants glue the fruit and vegetable pictures to their cans to create a colorful fruit and vegetable collage. Cut a piece of clear self-adhesive shelf paper to fit each can, and have participants cover the pictures on their cans with the clear shelf paper.
  5. Distribute the recipe card sets, 1½-inch loose-leaf book rings, and clothespins to each participant. Review the different recipes with the class, and discuss the fruit and vegetable ingredients. Reinforce the health benefits of eating fruits and vegetables, and remind participants about the importance of eating 3½ to 6½ cups of fruits and vegetables every day for good health. Let the participants know that they can go to www.mypyramid.gov to find out exactly how many cups of fruits and vegetables they need every day for good health.
  6. Cut additional pieces of clear self-adhesive shelf paper for each recipe card, and have participants laminate their cards with the plastic. Remind participants to avoid covering the hole in the upper left corner. Have participants place the 1½-inch loose-leaf book rings through the hole in the upper left corner of the recipe cards to create a recipe card booklet.
  7. Instruct participants to place the clothespin on their decorated cans and use it to attach the recipe booklet to the utensil holder. Encourage participants to place their new utensil holders prominently in their kitchens as a reminder to eat the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables every day. Also, encourage participants to add new fruit and vegetable recipes to their recipe booklet.
  8. Conclude the activity by discussing with participants how they can use the recipes as a way to include fruits and vegetables in the meals and snacks they prepare for themselves and their families.

Expansion Ideas

Sample Hearty Bean and Vegetable Soup Recipe

Prepare the Hearty Bean and Vegetable Soup recipe in advance and offer samples to participants. You may purchase the ingredients, or ask your local grocery store or farmers' market to donate them. Remember to handle food safely when conducting food demonstrations and sampling. To learn more about food safety, visit www.foodsafety.gov.

Refridgerator Magnets

Cut out fruit and vegetable pictures, glue onto card stock or light cardboard, cover with clear self-adhesive shelf paper, and glue a small strip of magnet to the back.

Tips

  • Have participants bring their own 1-quart glass food jars to class for the Craft a Hearty Bean and Vegetable Soup Gift project. Clean spaghetti sauce jars work the best.
  • If it's not feasible to use glass jars for the Craft a Hearty Bean and Vegetable Soup Gift project, place the beans in 1-quart plastic bags and decorate with ribbon.
  • Make a mock-up of each craft ahead of time to show participants examples of the finished products.

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