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Eat a Rainbow 3rd - 6th | Lesson 3, Series #5

Eat a Rainbow

Vocabulary/Key Concepts: Diversity, Phytonutrients, Essential Nutrients, Health, Cooking

Grade Levels: 3rd - 6th

Click here for #5 Series Description

Science Framework

Spanish Lesson Plan

Lesson Bridge:

Connect this lesson (3) with ‘Buggy Diner’ (2) by asking students to reflect on which types and colors of plants tended to be bugs’ favorites. Were they deep green? Yellow? Purple? Bugs require a rainbow diet to keep healthy and so do humans! Close the Loop by talking about how composted smoothie ingredients help to feed the microorganisms that will in turn build healthy soil (1).

Lesson Overview:  

In this lesson students will learn about the positive health effects that individual phytonutrients play for plants and people. The class will make a model showing which colors are linked to health benefits of various parts of our bodies.  Students will discuss patterns of diversity in our world to explore the value of a varied diet.  Then, students will make and taste a smoothie using produce from every color of the rainbow!

Essential Question(s) that Connect CCCs and SEPs:


Diversity- Having a variety, Differences between two or more things

Phytonutrients- Natural parts of plants that keep plants healthy and are good for humans also.

Essential Nutrients- A substance that is needed for healthy growth, development and functioning

Health- A state of physical and mental well being

Cooking- To prepare food to be eaten


Option #1: Smoothie Materials

Option #2: Rainbow Snack Bowl or Salad

*Optional: Rainbow Cards 


Activity Procedure:


What do you think would happen if you only had one food you ate every day? Would you get all the vitamins and minerals you need? Why not?


Have students go into the garden and look for different colors on the plants/crops. You can have them do a short scavenger hunt.


Eating different foods are important because they have different things our bodies need. You may have heard of Protein. Protein helps us have strong muscles. Fat is also important for our brains to work well and carbohydrates give us energy. Vitamins and minerals are also very important and they are found in colorful fruits and vegetables. Different colors have different vitamins and minerals that your body needs to be healthy!  So that’s why it wouldn’t help you get all your vitamins if you only ate green foods and never ate red foods. Draw the following chart on the board and add an additional column for students to brainstorm types of foods that fall into one of the four color groups you will be looking at.

Color of food                 Good for

Green                        Bones and Teeth                          

Blue/Purple                Brain

Red                        Heart

Orange/Yellow                Eyes and Immune System

Afterwards, have one student lay down on the sidewalk or asphalt and another student trace them (or on butcher paper with markers). You can have a teacher pick students to assist you with this. Review what colors are good for each part of the body and as you do draw into the body the different parts with the right color of chalk. For example, draw a blue/purple brain in the head, and green teeth in a mouth on the face. To represent the immune system you can use the shape of a shield.

*You can either do this together as a class or have students pair up and trace each other/fill in which color is beneficial to which body part.


Option #1: Making smoothies.

  1. Review your Garden Agreements
  2. Have students harvest any ingredients you will be using from the garden.
  3.  Unless you have a solar set up, long extension cord, or bike blender in your garden you will have to go back to the classroom at this point.
  4. Divide students into groups to work on different prep aspects of the smoothies such as cutting up pieces of fruit and tearing up kale, and arranging cups out on a table.
  5. When everything is complete. Have them sit down at their desks and watch as you make the smoothie magic happen. If you are so lucky to have a bike blender and ample time, let each kid take a turn pedaling!
  6.  Add adequate liquid to your blender to help it blend. Ice and additional sweetener are optional.
  7. Pour into cups and let students come up one at a time to get theirs, or have a few students help you pass them out to the class.

Option #2: Rainbow Snack Bowl

  1. Review your Garden Agreements
  2. Pass around a bowl or platter with a sample of each different color. For example you may have purple grapes, red bell pepper, green cucumber, and orange carrot. Ideally something in the snack bowl will come from the garden. Have a toothpick in each food item to avoid students touching the food with their hands, and have students select one food item that they want to try.
  3. Call on students to tell you one of the foods in their bowls, and what part of the body it is good for.
  4. Invite students to taste each color, by starting with a lizard lick and graduating to a rabbit nibble, followed by a coyote chomp!
  5. Ask students to show you a thumbs up if they enjoyed a certain food. Remind students that if they didn’t like a food today, our taste buds change over time, so it’s always a good idea to try that food again in the future.  


Did you like the food that you tested? How does it feel in your body? Do you like the flavor? In what ways is eating the rainbow helpful to your body (they give you a variety of nutrients to help lots of different parts of your body)?  What are some other ways you like to eat fruits and vegetables?

Extension Activities:

Gardens Change Lives!                                                          Page  of