Unit 1 Information for Leaders

To view the individual activities for this unit, click on them in the highlighted orange box to the left

A PDF version of this unit is available here.

Behavior Goal

Children will eat more fruits and vegetables (5-a-day!)

Key Messages for Kids

  • Go for Five! Eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables (combined) each day.
  • Try to eat a fruit or a vegetable with every meal and snack.
  • Just take a bite! Don't be afraid to try a new fruit or vegetable - chances are you'll like it.

Key Information for Program Staff

Fruits and vegetables are important foods to include in a healthy diet, but many children (and adults!) eat much less than the recommended 5 or more servings each day. Fruits and vegetables are packed with lots of vitamins and nutrients. They are also a great source of fiber, which helps you feel full.

The trick is that each type of fruit or vegetable has unique benefits, so it is important to eat different types. Encourage children to eat a variety of different fruits and vegetables so they get all the vitamins and nutrients they need to be healthy. Tell children it is fun to try new fruits and vegetables, and they taste great! They say that "an apple a day keeps the doctor away", but don't forget your oranges and broccoli! Striving for variety also means you should also try to incorporate fruits and vegetables that are relevant to the lives of the children you serve. Take time to talk to kids about the kinds of fruits and vegetables they eat at home and make sure to incorporate them into your snacks and activities in this unit.

Tip: September is National 5-a-Day month, so check out the resource section and connect to organizations that may offer free materials or ideas. School food service directors may also have promotional material, or they may be interested in working with school-based programs on taste-tests or other activities.

  • Refer to the Fruits and Veggies Tip Sheet PDF for ideas on how to serve fruits and vegetables for snack at your afterschool program.
  • The browser version of this tip sheet is located here
  • The fast map for this unit is available here
  • The browser version of this fast map is available here

What's a Serving?

  • 1/4 cup of dried fruit, like raisins
  • 1/2 cup of cooked or raw vegetables, like baby carrots or cooked green beans
  • 1/2 cup of canned or cut-up fruit, like applesauce or canned pineapple
  • 1 medium piece of fresh fruit (an apple the size of a tennis ball, or 1 medium banana)
  • 1 cup of leafy greens like spinach and lettuce (dark greens pack more nutrients than pale iceberg lettuce)