Go for the Greens activities vary from school to school, and group to group. The following ideas provide a number of exciting ways your organization can participate in the festivities!
Host a Produce Pentathlon
What is a Produce Pentathlon? A Produce Pentathlon is modeled on the modern athletic pentathlon of five events. The Produce Pentathlon consists of a week-long challenge based on how many fruits/vegetables a youth eats during a single day.
How does the Pentathlon work? Students are asked to track their daily consumption of fruits and veggies with a goal to eat five servings of fruits and vegetables per day for five days.
The Pentathlon can be organized in many different ways, for example:
- Individual Classroom – in its simplest form, the Pentathlon can be a classroom activity led by the teacher or classroom aid. Each student would receive an individual tracker (see below) to track the number of servings of fruits and vegetables eaten by students each day. At the beginning of the school day, the teacher would ask each student to report the number of servings consumed and track it on a classroom tracker (see below).
- Grade level competition – A school nurse, physical education teacher, the school food service director or classroom teacher could lead a competition between grade levels. For example, all fifth grade classrooms could compete against each other to see which fifth grade classroom consumes the most fruits and vegetables in one week.
- School building competition – Another option is to host an entire school building competition. Again, this could be organized by the school nurse, physical education teacher, the school food service director or any classroom teacher or school administrator. This type of competition can work at the elementary, middle or high school level. For example, all sixth-graders would compete against the seventh- and eighth-graders to see which grade level consumed the most fruits and vegetables in one week.
- School district competition – The school district wellness team may choose to lead a competition among all school buildings in the district or all elementary school buildings.
- At Home – Have a family competition between parents and siblings. Keep a tracker of different vegetable varieties and servings.
Regardless of how the competition is organized; it provides a great opportunity to engage a number of different school personnel in promoting healthy eating to youth.
Host a Cooking with Greens Event
What is Cooking with Greens? Cooking with Greens is a fun-filled, family-oriented event that teaches parents and their children about green vegetables and how to incorporate veggies as part of healthy and appealing meals and snacks. The event is typically hosted by a parent organization such as a PTO, PTA, Home & School Association or other similar group.
How does Cooking with Greens work? Cooking with Greens events can be structured to best suit the overall goals of a planning team/group. The event works most successfully as an evening or weekend event and invites participation from the entire school body – teachers, administrators, students and parents. It’s important to make the event atmosphere kid-friendly and engaging, but also of relevant to the parents in attendance.
The basic event outline would incorporate two key components:
1) “Greens” Cooking Demonstration – invite a local chef (from a popular area restaurant, cooking school or culinary training school) to demonstrate one or more dishes featuring green vegetables as the main ingredient.
2) Kids’ Healthy Lunchbox Competition – Assemble a healthy lunch box featuring a green vegetable and display it for judging. Similar to a chili cook off, the lunch boxes are judged and prizes awarded in one or more categories.
Prizes Categories (recommended prize categories):
- People’s Choice award – event attendees will judge each lunchbox based on the healthy lunch criteria
- Chef’s Choice award – the Chef will judge each lunchbox for creativity and overall presentation of lunchbox
Additionally, a parent organization could choose to incorporate a fundraiser as part of the Cooking with Greens event.