Activities to try at your school, centre or at home during National Nutrition Week from October 12 to October 18.

1.       Hungry caterpillar finger painting

You will need:

Step by step:

After reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar and playing the game, try painting your own hungry caterpillar.

  • Create a curved line for the caterpillar’s body by pressing your finger into the green paint and then onto the paper. You may like to draw the shape lightly with lead pencil first to use as a guide. If you choose to use more than one shade of green you can create an alternating pattern
  • Use your finger in red paint to create the head. When the paint is dry add legs and a face to your caterpillar with a dark coloured marker
  • Stick a yellow patty pan at the top of your card for the sun.

 2.       Body IQ Nutrition

You will need:

Step by Step:

Discover how food is broken down, what vitamins are and why it is good to eat broccoli as you go on an adventure into the body and try to answer the 600 fun and exciting cards about food, nutrition and digestion.

  • Choose a wooden marker. Select 30 random Super Food cards and place them upside down in a pile.
  • The first player picks an organ card from the mouth category. If they can answer the question, they move forward the designated number of spaces. Then it’s the next player’s turn. If you answer incorrectly, remain in the same location.
  • When on the Food Fight field – Players win or lose Super Food cards from other players and rewarded with a certain number of spaces to move forward.
  • The person with the most Super Food cards wins

The included BodyIQ user guide contains more details about and variations of the game.

3.       Food Fight card game

You will need:

Step by Step:

Have a “Food Fight” about “who has the healthiest fruit or vegetables”. Learn what vitamins and minerals are and gain knowledge about all the fruits and vegetables that make us healthy.

  • Shuffle the cards and place in a pile facing downwards
  • Players take turns to turn over the first card
  • The first player to bang the table and shout FoodFight gets to name the fruit or vegetable
  • If the player can say the name of the fruit or vegetable correctly they win the card
  • The person with the most cards wins

There are 15 games that can be played with the cards only or cards and mat detailed in the User guide included in the game

4.       Grow your own vegetable garden

Establish your own vegetable garden at your school, centre or at home to learn about sustinable living and encourage healthy eating, particularly meeting the recommended number of daily vegetable serves.

You will need:

Step by Step:

  • Select a location. Ensure it is a site that receives a minimum of six hours sunlight a day
  • Prepare soil. Soil must be well prepared prior to planting. Add organic matter to provide nutrients, improve soil structure and ensure good drainage. If starting a garden in a raised bed or container be sure to use good quality soil mix combined with extra compost or manure Plant seeds. The ideal sowing depth is about twice the seed diameter. Sow seed at the recommended spacing and cover lightly. Refer to the back of seed packet for specific sowing details
  • Care and maintain your vegetable garden by watering the root area, avoiding the foliage. A good soak every few days is recommended. Maintain a weed-free garden by pruning leaves off the ground
  • Rotate crops, alternate the varieties of vegetables grown in one place from year to year.

 5.       Fruit salad maths

You will need:

Step by Step:

The Super Sorting Pie is a delicious way to provide hands-on experiences with early math concepts such as sorting, counting, number sense, patterning, and beginning addition and subtraction. The pie has a removable sorting tray that allows children to sort and count fruit in many ways. Tweezers are included to give children opportunities to develop fine motor skills while engaging in early math practice and promoting healthy eating.

  • Ask students to use the different coloured fruits to model the number story you are telling. “Sam has six bananas and Mary has two apples. How many more does Sam have than Mary?” or “Julie has four lemons and you have one. How many more do you need so that you will have the same number? See how many different combination number stories you can tell
  • Place all the fruit counters into the pie, without the sorting tray. Say a number such as “five” and also say a colour word such as “red.” Ask a child to find five red fruits, pick them out of the pie, and count them
  • Make a pattern with the fruit counters and ask children to repeat the pattern. Compare the patterns. Have children take turns making a pattern for other children to duplicate
  • Remember to ask children to answer questions by firstly identifying and selecting the fruits and vegetables then modelling the story or performing the action.

 6.       Carrot and Oatmeal “Vegetable shaped” Cookies

Children can bake these fun, yummy, healthy snacks to eat at your school or centre or make at home to pack in their lunch box.

You will need:

Step by Step:

  • Heat the oven to 190 degrees Celsius
  • Spray baking sheets with non-stick cooking spray. Wash and grate the carrots
  • In a medium bowl beat two eggs. Add oil and grated carrot
  • In a large bowl combine oats, flour, baking powder and cinnamon.
  • Create a large well or indentation into the middle of the dry ingredients. Slowly add oil mixture to the well. Stir until evenly combined
  • Spoon the batter out onto a cookie sheet and roll flat
  • Use the cookie cutters to create vegetable shapes by inserting into the batter and removing excess around the cutter to leave a two inch space between cookies, roll and re-use excess batter
  • Place cookie tray in the oven  and bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown
  • Allow cookies to cool before serving.

Recipe found in Early Sprouts: Cultivating Healthy Food Choices in Young Children Book

7.       Design your own milk carton

Encourage children to drink plain milk and meet the recommended daily dairy serves with this fun, creative art activity.

You will need:

Step by step:

  • Design your own milk carton
  • Decorate while unassembled
  • Write the word “milk” or draw a cow, dairy or farm scene.
  • Follow the folds to assemble and use glue or tape to hold in place