Paint Your Plate Lesson Plan Grade 7 – Share It

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Minds on

Initiate a classroom discussion to get students thinking about why they choose to eat vegetables and fruit and what might help them eat them more often.

Note to teachers

The goal of this lesson  is for students to learn more about personal factors (e.g. familiarity) and external factors (e.g. cost) that affect a person’s intake of vegetables and fruit.  In this lesson, students will look for innovative ways to help others choose to eat more vegetables and fruit at school.

Key messages to share with students

Health benefits

  • All vegetables and fruit promote good health. They all contain a different combination of vitamins, minerals, fibre, antioxidants and nutrients that the body needs.
  • Choosing a variety of vegetables and fruit of different colours can help a person get all the nutrients they need to stay healthy.
  • Vegetables and fruit can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases like cancer, heart disease and diabetes and can help keep the digestive system healthy. Diets high in vegetables and fruit are also linked to lower rates of certain mental health conditions (e.g. depression).

Personal factors

  • Familiarity
  • Busy schedule
  • Likes and dislikes
  • Personal values
  • Food allergies or sensitivities
  • Cultural practices

External factors

  • Family budget
  • Cost of foods
  • Availability of foods at home, at school or in the community

Dig deeper

Health benefits of vegetables and fruit

Ontario grown vegetables and fruit

Why buy local?

Newsletter: Are Organic Food More Nutritious? 

Teacher prompts

“What is your favourite vegetable and your favourite fruit? Why are these your favourites? Can you think of vegetables and fruits you have never tasted before and might be curious to try?”

“Think about how vegetables and fruit can affect your overall health? Why would anyone want to eat more vegetables and fruit?” “Why would someone not want to eat more vegetables and fruit?”

“How could you encourage your friends and family to enjoy eating more vegetables and fruit?


Option 1: Take a selfie and share it! 

Assemble students in groups of 2 or more to decide on a vegetable and a fruit that they enjoy eating. Ask them to take a selfie with the vegetable and fruit (or a picture if it’s not possible to access fresh produce) and note a personal or external factor or health benefits that helps them consume more fruits or vegetables (e.g. we always have a fruit bowl available at home, I eat vegetables as part of the school snack program, I bring a bag of cut-up fruit and veggies for my snack after a sports game, etc.).


  • Encourage each group to choose different vegetables and fruit so the class can learn more about a variety of vegetables and fruit.
  • If possible, encourage students to post their selfie on school media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Newsletter) along with their reason for consuming the fruit and vegetable to help promote vegetables and fruit within the school environment.
  • Remember to hashtag your post #paintyourplate!

Option 2: Make a video and share it!

Follow the same steps in option 1, except this time students take a video of themselves promoting their favourite vegetable and fruit. In the video, ask students to state why they like these foods and how they include and prepare them as snacks or in meals.

To help students with this activity have them visit the Half Your Plate  or Foodland Ontario  websites for helpful information on vegetables and fruit.

Curriculum connections

Grade 7, D2. Making Healthy Choices. D2.1 Eating patterns and health problems

Demonstrate the ability to develop healthier eating patterns, using information about the role that different foods play as contributing or preventive factors in a variety of health disorders (e.g., cancer, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, food allergies and anaphylaxis, tooth decay, osteoporosis).

Grade 7, D3. Making Connections for Healthy Living. D3.1 Personal, external factors in food choices

Demonstrate an understanding of personal and external factors that affect people’s food choices and eating habits (e.g., peronsal: likes and dislikes, basic food skills, busy schedules, food allergies or sensitivities, health conditions, personal values, cultural practices or teachings; external: family or household budget, cost of foods, access to clean drinking water, type of food available at home, at school or in the community), and identify ways of encouraging healthier eating practices.

Reference: The Ontario Curriculum, Grades 1-8, Health and Physical Education, 2019