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An eat-well harvest: A healthy whole-school harvest celebration

To celebrate harvest and to help understanding of the need for a balanced and varied diet.

by The Revd Alan M. Barker

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)

Aims

To celebrate harvest and to help understanding of the need for a balanced and varied diet.

Preparation and materials

  • Refer to Food Standards Agency website: food.gov.uk/multimedia/pdfs/theeatwellplate.pdf

  • A circular table approx. 90-cm diameter, or similarly sized circular board covered with a cloth. Divide the circumference of the table into thirds. Then subdivide one-third into smaller sections along the lines of the ‘eat well plate’. Cut sheets of coloured backing paper to fit the different areas.
  • A broad variety of foodstuffs to represent the different components of a balanced/healthy diet. You will need:
    – a good range of fruit and vegetables, fresh and tinned
    – a variety of bread, pasta, rice and potatoes
    – dairy products, such as milk, yoghurt and cheese (keep refrigerated or use empty cartons)
    – tinned meat and fish (or empty frozen packets), beans and eggs
    – some snacks, such as chocolate bars, biscuits, crisps.
  • A shared celebration might be planned with members of the school community each placing different food items onto the table and participating in the narrative and song.
  • If presenting an ‘eat well’ Healthy Harvest to a large gathering, you could photograph the different stages and foodstuffs beforehand, so that they can also be projected in a PowerPoint presentation.

Assembly

  1. Begin with a well known harvest song or hymn, and reflect that Harvest is a time to be thankful that we can ‘eat well’. Refer to the variety of food available in local supermarkets. Harvests from all around the world are brought to our plates, and great care is taken to ensure that the food we buy is fresh and good. Good food keeps our bodies in great condition! Encourage everyone to be thankful for a good and plentiful harvest.

  2. Go on to reflect that ‘eating well’ doesn’t only depend upon the quantity and quality of food available to us. A variety of food is also important. Refer to the eat well plate, which will be familiar to many schools. Suggest that it might be fun to make a giant eat-well-plate Healthy Harvest display.
  3. Invite members of the school community to create the ‘eat well plate’ display with narrative along the following lines:

    Let’s celebrate an eat well Harvest and be thankful – for colourful fruit and vegetables, such as oranges and apples, carrots and peas . . . (other people add some more items). Five portions of ‘fruit and veg’ a day can help to keep us really healthy.

    Let’s celebrate an eat well Harvest and be thankful – for wholesome starchy foods, such as loaves of bread, rice and different kinds of pasta, potatoes and breakfast cereals. Here’s a harvest to give us lots of energy!

    Let’s celebrate an eat well Harvest and be thankful – for milk and other dairy foods, such as different kinds of cheese and yoghurt. These foods give us the calcium we need for healthy teeth and bones.

    Let’s celebrate an eat well Harvest and be thankful – for foods that help us grow, such as meat, fish, eggs and beans. These foods strengthen almost every part of our bodies.

    Let’s celebrate an eat well Harvest and be thankful – for treats of biscuits, cake and chocolate. These foods are made with lots of fat and sugar. So they’re just to ‘eat for a treat’.

    Let’s celebrate an eat well Harvest. No one food can give everything our bodies need. So we are thankful for the many different foods that keep us fit and well. The Healthy Harvest Song (below) might be sung at this point.
  4. Review the different food groups and refer to how they are placed in different sized segments of the Healthy Harvest display. These represent how much of our food should come from each group if we are to ‘eat well and be well’. Invite the school community to reflect upon the different-sized areas. What kinds of food should we eat the most? Both the Healthy Harvest display and the eat well plate show us that we should try to eat:

    – lots of fruit and vegetables
    – lots of bread, rice, pasta, potatoes and other starchy foods
    – some milk and dairy foods
    – some meat, fish, eggs and beans
    – just a small amount of foods that are high in fat and sugar.
  5. Reflect that, of course, we cannot eat every kind of food at any one meal – but the eat well plate shows us the balance we should aim for over a period of a whole day or week.

Time for reflection

Invite everyone to focus upon the Healthy Harvest Display and to be thankful for the different foods that help to keep our bodies healthy.

For people of faith, the joy of harvest is summed up in these verses from the Psalms:

O Lord my God, you are very great . . .

You cause the grass to grow for the cattle, and plants for people to use,
to bring forth food from the earth, and wine to gladden the human heart,
oil to make the face shine, and bread to strengthen the human heart.

(from Psalm 104)

A Healthy Harvest Song

By Alan M. Barker

(Tune: ‘Here we go round the mulberry bush’)

What shall we eat this harvest-time . . .

What shall we eat this harvest-time . . .

What shall we eat this harvest-time,

To keep us fit and healthy?

I’ll enjoy a crunchy apple

I’ll enjoy a crunchy apple

I’ll enjoy a crunchy apple

I’ll eat well this Harvest.

(Refrain) What shall we eat this harvest-time . . .? etc.

v2. I’ll enjoy a baked potato . . . etc.

(Refrain) What shall we eat this harvest-time . . .? etc.

v3. I’ll enjoy a pot of yoghurt . . . etc.

(Refrain) What shall we eat this harvest-time . . .? etc.

v4. I’ll enjoy a large brown egg . . . etc.

(Refrain) What shall we eat this harvest-time . . .? etc.

v5. I’ll enjoy a biscuit treat . . . etc.

Song/music

‘Lord of the Harvest’ (Come and Praise, 133)

‘Cereals, Bread, Veg and Fruit’ (A Combined Harvest, Out of the Ark Music)

Publication date: October 2010   (Vol.12 No.10)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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