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Mixed Salad

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Short description of activity:  Students play with their food: identify fruits and vegetables, sort and play with them by attribute.
Type of activity: Content Connection, Energizer
Minimum Time Needed for Activity: 15 Min
Grade Level: Pre-k through 3rd
Subject Area: Nutrition, ELA, Science


  • Plush (plastic, or flashcards) veggies and fruits
  • Small parachute or blanket
  • Crate or box and bowl (optional)

Set up:

  1. Divide students into two lines, the first person of each line facing the other with their teammates single file behind each.


  1. Everyone shakes the parachute lightly. Take this time to ask students why they want to wash their hands before eating and food preparation, and wash or peel any fruit/veggie before they eat it.
  2. The teacher calls out one number/letter/name.
  3. That student lets go of the parachute goes to the container with the fruits/veggies. The remaining students continue shaking the parachute lightly, being mindful of the “empty space” that the salad might fall out of the bowl.
  4. The student takes ONE fruit or veggie from the bag, and says what it is.
    • Do you wash it or peel it? Student pretends to do that
    • Is it a fruit or a vegetable? What color(s) is it when ready to eat?
    • What is the first letter/last letter?
    • Can it grow in VT?
    • Is it a root, grow on a plant or grow in a tree?
    • Do you like to eat it? Have you eaten it?
  5. Student brings it back to the parachute and throws it onto the parachute (in the salad bowl). Remind students to keep the fruit/veggies on the parachute while shaking it.
    • Students can identify how many syllables and bounce the parachute with the syllables while saying it out loud
  6. Repeat with every student.
  7. When every student has had a chance to add to the salad (or until all of the food is in the bowl), call out “Mixed Salad!” at which time the students shake the parachute as hard as they can to try to toss all the fruit/veggies out of the bowl. Remind students to hold onto the parachute until the teacher tells them to do otherwise.
  8. When all the fruits/veggies are on the floor, tell students to put the parachute on the floor nicely, retrieve the fruits/veggies, and put them back in the grocery bag.


  • When picking up, students can sort the food or themselves in different parts of the room by any of the above answers: fruit vs. vegetable; grow in VT or not; root, plant, tree), line up alphabetically, group by color (or those that can be different colors like peppers, apples, carrots, etc)
  • Use beanbags or flashcards of fruit, vegetables and “sometimes food.” Students decide which foods to include in a healthy salad and which do not belong. Have them explain their answer if the other students do not agree.


NGSS > Life Sciences > From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes; Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics

NGSS > Earth and Space Sciences > Earth’s Systems; Earth and Human Activity

NGSS > Physical Science > Matter and Its Interactions

ELA Standards > Speaking and Listening > Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas

ELA Standards > Language > Vocabulary Acquisition and Use

Nutrition > Recognizes that food provides energy for physical activity; Differentiates between healthy and unhealthy foods;

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