Paint Your Plate Lesson Plan Grade 4 – Veggies & Fruit; the Preferred (and Easy) Choice

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Minds on

Initiate a classroom discussion to get students thinking about the places where they live, learn and play.  Are vegetables and fruit available in these settings?

Note to teachers

The goal of this lesson is for students to brainstorm strategies to improve the environments in which they live, learn and play so that vegetables and fruit are the easy choice; the promoted choice; the preferred choice.

Key messages to share with students

  • Vegetables and fruit come in a rainbow of colours, flavours and textures and offer a wide range of nutrients necessary for good health.
  • We increase our chances for good health if we eat a variety of vegetables and fruit every day.
  • Children eat more vegetables and fruit where they live, learn and play (e.g. home, school, recreation centres, restaurants, convenient stores, etc.), when they are promoted, available, accessible and affordable.
  • There are many ways to promote vegetables and fruit (e.g. posters, newsletters, social media, television, radio, assemblies, songs, plays, events, word of mouth, etc.).

Dig deeper

Food culture in schools video

Parenting wins:  eat well, be active video

Parenting wins:  food rewards video

Parenting wins:  moderation for children video

Parenting wins:  sports snacks video

Teacher prompts

“Name some of the places where you spend time during the day, after school, on weekends, etc.  Are vegetables and fruit available at these places? Why do you think that is?”

“What types of advertising do you see on a regular basis?  Do you see vegetables and fruit advertised regularly? Why do you think that is?”

“What advertisements catch your eye? Are there certain advertisements that you can remember for longer periods of time? Why do you think that is?”


Option 1: Vegetables and fruit on the menu

  • Record the ideas generated from the teacher prompts above on a chalkboard, smartboard or flipchart paper.
  • Have students (in a group, as a class or in pairs) brainstorm ways to have vegetables and fruit available (regularly) where they spend time (e.g. school, after-school programs, friends’ home, recreation centres, restaurants, etc.).
  • Ask the students to create a plan to put their ideas into action (including possible barriers and facilitators).


Regroup as a class for students to discuss and share their ideas about how to improve the environments in which they live, learn and play so that vegetables and fruit are the easy choice; the promoted choice; and preferred choice.

Curriculum connections

Grade 4, D.3. Making Connections for Healthy Living D3.1 Healthier eating in various settings

Identify ways of promoting healthier eating habits in a variety of settings and situations (e.g. school, arena, recreation centre, stores, food courts, special events, when camping, having a snack or meal at a friend’s house, eating on weekends versus weekdays).

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