University of Minnesota Extension
www.extension.umn.edu
612-624-1222
Menu Menu

Extension > Food > Farm to School > Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program > Education and Outreach

Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program

Education and Outreach

Thank you for connecting your school with Minnesota farmers who grow fresh fruits and vegetables. This section provides tools and resources to help educate students, their families, and school staff about the nutritional benefits and availability of Minnesota-grown produce through USDA’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program.

 

The Fruit and Vegetable Snack Bites are designed to be read by teachers or students during snack time when a local fruit or vegetable is offered. The Snack Bites include information about how and where the fruit or vegetable was grown and fun facts to engage students. These short messages can also be 1) read by the principal or students at the start of the day during morning announcements, 2) used on the school menu, 3) posted to the website or 4) included in school newsletters.

Apples
Bell Peppers
Broccoli
Cabbage
Cantaloupe

Carrots
Cauliflower
Cucumbers
Green Beans
Lettuce
Spinach
Tomatoes
Watermelon
Zucchini

 

For more ready to use fruit and vegetable fact sheets, recipes and activities, visit:

Fruit and Vegetable Fact Sheets

Harvest of the Month

Pennsylvania State Nutrition Action Committee — Vegetable Campaign

 

Tasting lessons offer students the opportunity to try a new fruit or vegetable using all their senses. Each tasting lesson will increase student exposure to locally grown fruits and vegetables and promote the consumption of fruits and vegetables at school and at home.

Repeated opportunities to taste and eat new and familiar foods are required to increase acceptance and intake. Some say that classroom and cafeteria taste testings create positive peer pressure. If your friend is willing to try the rutabaga, why wouldn’t you? Classroom and cafeteria taste tests encourage students to eat local, nutritious foods in a supportive environment.

Who can lead a taste testing? Anyone — teachers, parents, foodservice staff, students, community members and Community Nutrition Educators can all lead a taste testing.

Who are Community Nutrition Educators? Community Nutrition Educators (or CNEs) from the University of Minnesota Extension’s Simply Good Eating program teach students and families the information and skills to maintain healthy diets. CNEs partner with Minnesota schools at no cost to lead taste testings and other fun, hands-on nutrition education classes.

Sample Fruit and Vegetable Taste Testing (124 K PDF)

 

Teachers and educators — check out this list of worksheets and short lessons that connect food, agriculture and health for your elementary classroom. These short activities vary by subject and length.

Minnesota Agriculture in the Classroom Ag-tivities (Grades K-3)

Veggie Power Worksheet

Fantastic Fruits Worksheet

Fruit and Vegetable Songs

Farm to School Educational Lessons [Research, Education, Action and Policy on Food Group REAP)

 

Family Newsletters help reinforce student experiences in the classroom. Students can influence their family to purchase locally grown fruits and vegetables. Family Newsletters provide helpful tips for eating more fruits and vegetables, take home challenges and an assortment of tasty, simple recipes. For additional Family Newsletters that highlight a particular fruit or vegetable, visit the Farm to School Toolkit.

Introductory Letter to Families (sample)

Family Newsletter template and example

Recipes

Apples
Bell Peppers
Broccoli
Cabbage
Cantaloupe

Carrots
Cauliflower
Cucumbers
Green Beans
Lettuce
Spinach
Tomatoes
Watermelon
Zucchini

 

We all have a role to play in helping our kids learn how to make healthy choices. This section contains activities and handouts for families. While the short activities help families get their hands dirty in the soil or kitchen, the handouts provide tips to make healthy choices, easy choices.

Activities:

Team Nutrition Community Action Kit – Family Activities (Grades 3-6)

  • Close Encounters of an Agricultural Kind – Page 125
  • Starting Small (Growing your own food) – Page 126
  • Tips To Be Tops -Healthy Food Choices for a Healthy Diet – Page 131
  • Salad Bowl – Page 145

Eat Smart. Play Hard.™ Additional Resources

Handouts:

Top 10 Reasons to eat MORE fruits & vegetables

 

The intention of the teacher letter is to engage school staff and encourage them to be good role models for eating fruits and vegetables, especially Minnesota grown fruits and vegetables. The teacher letter also describes their role in offering fruit and vegetable snacks and offers suggestions for incorporating the fruit/vegetable snack into their daily curriculum. Consider having the school principal and food service director send the letter.

farm to school poster
Click Poster to enlarge

Related Resources

New Farm to School Videos — Use these videos in your classroom or kitchen to promote the use of Minnesota Grown foods.

News Bites and Fact SheetsVermont FEED — Gain inspiration for your Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program. Find seasonal ideas and highlight locally grown fruits and vegetables.

Let's Move Salad Bars to SchoolMinnesota Department of Health

Explore other sections:
Fact Sheets | Videos

  • © 2014 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved.
  • The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer. Privacy