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The Munch Crunch Bunch are fun food friends whose goal is to empower young children to make healthy food choices. Taking an innovative story/activity book approach, these food characters enhance students’ learning experiences with a “hands-on” approach as they heighten awareness of nutrition, which in turn has an influence in daily decisions of food choices. A variety of ways to use the Munch Crunch Bunch to supplement current health and nutrition curriculum are described in this lesson plan.

The Munch Crunch Bunch goals include:

Knowledge
To help young children gain knowledge about:
45 different fruits and vegetables
the negative influence of sugar and junk foods on the body
the influence of food choices on physical, mental, and emotional health

Attitude
To encourage positive attitudes regarding:
choosing fruits and vegetables to eat as part of a balanced diet
to participate in physical activity other than watching television
-the importance of eating a healthy breakfast

Behavior
To encourage appropriate behavior in kids regarding:
the quality of foods eaten daily
avoidance of high fat, sugary, junk foods
the foods they consume each day (specifically snacks, desserts, drinks, and fruits and vegetables)

This story/activity book features 45 fruit and vegetable FOODLES (food character riddle cards) that can be cut out and used in many different ways. Hint: laminate the pages before cutting out the cards and they can be used for a long time without showing wear and tear.

  1. Use the cards to play the Munch Crunch Bunch board game found attached to the back cover of the book. Follow directions for educational play or create your own fun game.
  2. Take a field trip to a supermarket and/or farmers’ market and use the cards on a Munch Crunch Bunch treasure hunt. Read the riddles, look at the pictures and track down the specific fruit or vegetable in the produce section.
  3. Find a simple recipe using a favorite food character and create the recipe in class. Sample recipes are available free at http://www.MunchCrunchBunch.com
  4. Divide children into groups. Pick a card and read one group the food riddle to see if they can guess the fruit or vegetable. Encourage them to converse among themselves. Show photo if more clues are needed. If they can correctly identify the food within a preset time limit, they receive the card. At the end of the game, the group with the most cards, wins.

Children love listening to Rudi’s story about an ordinary shopping trip that turns into an extraordinary food adventure. Use the small question boxes (found throughout the book), to facilitate discussion about nutrition and exercise, as you narrate this imaginative tale.

THE FARMER
This co-operative game allows each child a turn at playing the role of the ‘farmer’. Use an old straw hat or baseball cap – or make a headband from paper that reads FARMER. The teacher affixes one of the food character cards, with the picture of the fruit or vegetable facing outwards, onto the front of the hat, cap, or taped to the headband. Place this on the ‘farmers’ head without the child seeing which food character they are wearing. The farmer then faces the class so the students can see what fruit or vegetable is showing. The ‘farmer’ says,

“I’m Farmer insert child’s name here ,
Giving you the okay,
To help me try and guess,
What food we’re planting today.”

The ’farmer’ calls on students who have raised their hands to give him/her a clue describing the food on the hat. After each clue, the farmer gets one guess. If the guess is wrong, another child is called upon for their clue. This continues until the ‘farmer’ guesses the correct food. Repeat with different food characters until each student has a turn to play the farmer.

FRUIT OR VEGETABLE
This activity helps children distinguish fruits from vegetables and the benefits of each. Spread the food character cards out on a table and have students choose a card. Using the criteria below, along with other clues, decide if the card belongs in the Fruit or Vegetable pile. Additional items for discussion could include:

How the food grows
What the food tastes like
Why organic fruits and vegetables are better for you and the planet
Do you mostly eat this food raw or cooked
Compare shapes and sizes of different fruits and veggies

FRUIT TRAITS
Grown on trees, bushes or vines
One or more seeds inside (or outside)
Sweeter than vegetables
Part we eat is a ripened flower
Parent plant lives on for another season (Perennial)

VEGETABLE TRAITS

Comes from smaller plants, not trees
No seeds
Not as sweet, more fibrous
We eat part of the plant, usually its stem, root, tubers, or leaves
Parent plant dies after the season (Annual)

Note: Tomato is a tricky one. Botanically it is a fruit, but it is classified as a vegetable for purposes of trade.

STORY-TELLING: Encourage children to tell their own story about Rudi and what they think he should have for breakfast or what Rudi should plant in his garden.