On Monday, June 1st 2015, a team of JUCCCErs celebrated International Kids’ Day with a group of 36 local primary school students (黄浦区卢湾一中心小学). We hosted a series of fun activities for the kids on the ‘Eat a Rainbow Every Day’ theme to learn about the health benefits of eating different colored foods.
We started with a brief presentation complete with colorful vegetable costumes. Miss Pea, Miss Carrot and Miss Banana explained links between different colors and their potential health benefits - for example, orange foods being good for the eyes. We also introduced our Food Hero Rules and the idea that eating a rainbow can make you into a Food Hero. With some help from our translator Mr. Corn (Jeremy Wong, a teacher from the local school), we had the kids listening attentively.
Next, we had three stations of activities for the kids to rotate between. In the first activity, ‘Guess the Food’, kids took turns to put on a blindfold and guess what kind of vegetable we handed them. For some foods they really had to concentrate to connect the feel to the name. The lotus root was the most difficult, and some didn’t even recognize it after looking at it! The activity certainly helped the kids connect to real foods in new ways.
For the next activity, ‘Name the Rainbow’, we assigned colors to smaller groups of kids. Each group had to brainstorm a list of fruits and vegetables of their color. The kids came up with a range of creative answers for fruits and veggies ranging from red (tomatoes, strawberries) to white (needle mushrooms, cauliflower). They surprised themselves with the variety of answers – so many choices from the food rainbow!
In ‘Where Does My Food Grow?’ kids took turns to take a vegetable flashcard and place it on our large poster to guess where it grows. The kids were enthusiastic volunteers. Some flashcards were easy answers, such apples and sweet potatoes. While the kids struggled with trickier cards, like wood ear, they were eager to learn the correct origin of each food.
After wrapping up these activities we gathered the group together again – time to sing! Miss Pea and Miss Banana introduced the Chinese version of our song ‘Today I Ate a Rainbow’. The kids were soon singing along and joining in with our dancing. We added the English version of the song afterwards to tie in the bilingual component of A New Way to Eat.
The last activity of the day truly exemplified the colorful component of ‘Eat a Rainbow Every Day’. Each smaller group of kids colored in one piece of a larger poster of fruits and vegetables. Afterwards we gathered the individual artworks into one large image, a brightly colored rainbow of fresh foods. The kids were excited to take pictures with the final masterpiece.
Now it was time to wrap up and thank our lovely translators and helpers, Soukey Zhang, Sharon Liang and Jeremy Wong. And many thanks to Sproutworks restaurant for providing the colorful costumes that allowed us to take on our vegetable personas. And of course, we couldn’t forget to hand out the prizes of stickers and flashcards for our newly formed Food Heroes. These kids were full of energy for all of our activities and were keen to learn about how eating different colors of fruits and veggies can make them healthy and happy.
(Note: A New Way to Eat is now called Food Heroes.)