The American Dietetic Association presents National Nutrition Month every March to increase awareness on the importance of eating right. This year's 'Eat Right with Color' theme focuses on eating from a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables to reap the health benefits of important vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Eating colorful fruits and vegetables provides your body with a variety of nutrients that helps in maintaining a healthy body weight and reduces the risk of diet-related chronic diseases. This GardenCuizineTM nutrition month project is fun for all ages, especially seniors and children.
- Prepare a short introduction and nutrition education lesson plan
- Design 3 or more masters for coloring pages using simple outlines of fruits and vegetables; include a line for the individual to sign their name; you may wish to include the name of the facility or school
- Make several copies of each master coloring page according to how many participants you expect to attend
- Art supplies may include, but are not limited to: paint brushes, containers to hold the paint brushes (fill a few of the containers with a little bit of water to dip the brushes), cutting board, chefs knife, artist painter pallet's, red cabbage, plastic baggies, paper plates, napkins
- Fruit and vegetable snack such as oranges and baby carrots
- For coloring: fresh radish bunches, fresh spinach leaves, dried turmeric powder, beet powder and Açai fruit powder
- Wash all the produce and allow to dry before using
- Sprinkle a few pinches of the dry powders in the pallets divided evenly among the group
- Slice the oranges into wedges and explain they are for snacking. I tried using oranges for coloring and the pigments don't rub off easy - they are best used as a snack.
- Divide the produce evenly among the paper plates (several participants can share a plate)
- Talk about your sample foods and their nutrients
- Highlight a few of the antioxidant pigments found in the foods such as: beta carotene and lycopene
- Keep coming back to the main points:
Eating from a variety of colorful fruits reduces the risk of diet-related chronic diseases.
Eating from a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables helps people of all ages maintain a healthy body weight.
- Thinly slice the red cabbage in front of your audience. Place 1/3 cup and 1 tablespoon of water in each baggie. Do as many baggies as you desire. Seal them tight and pass around for volunteers to gently squish and squeeze. As they are squeezing, explain that anthocyanin pigments are what make the water color purple. Snip a small piece of the edge of the baggie and allow the nutrient-rich purple liquid to drip out into a clear container. Show this around the room so everyone can get a close-up look.
- Have the participants stack up several spinach leaves and roll them into a tight "paint brush". The natural green chlorophyll pigments will rub off when rubbed on the coloring page. Participants can experiment using radish greens too.
- Fresh radishes can be picked off the greens and hand held like a crayon and used to color, the natural red pigments will rub off onto the coloring sheet.
- Brushes can be dipped in water and mixed with the powdered fruits and veggies to make a natural pigment watercolor. Avoid using too much water or the color will be too weak.
Thank you to my Dietetic Internship director: Maria Basche, MS, RD South Jersey Healthcare for making this opportunity possible for me and to my preceptor: Diane Griffith, MS, RD and the staff and residents at Cumberland Manor Nursing Home
Eating Fruits and Vegetables: Why Color Matters
The Cook's Garden Nutrition
What Color is Your Food?
Blog Article and Photographs Copyright © 2011 D.Wind. All rights reserved.