The Giant Fruit Salad is a chance for health professionals or other interested individuals to promote eating fruits in the schools, to use fruit that students bring in to create a Giant Fruit Salad that is distributed back to all the students in their classrooms, and share the message that “fruit (and veggies) taste great and are great for you!”

To make the Giant Fruit Salad, every student is asked to bring a piece of fruit (fresh or canned).  Volunteers help to wash, cut, and drain the fruit as necessary.  Stir in low-fat vanilla yogurt which is purchased or donated at the rate of about 24 oz yogurt per 30 students.  The fruit salad is put in a large, fun, and properly prepared container.

Fruit from every student, about 24 oz yogurt for about every 30 students, student letter to take home, fruit shaped balloons, fruit costumes, inspected kitchen for prep work, colanders/strainers, knives, cutting boards, washcloths, disposable gloves, aprons, large serving spoons, bowls (1/2 cup size) and spoons for serving, large serving container (we use a clean, unused wheelbarrow), fruit & veggie sticker to give students, and jokes/music (example, The Wiggles, “Fruit Salad”).

Classroom presentation Ideas
Once fruit salad is ready to go, walk from room to room distributing the salad, sharing messages about the benefits of fruit – varying the message based on the age of the students. 

  • "The Giant Fruit Salad is here!" (shout upon entering the classroom)
  • "Tell me about some of your favorite fruit and veggies."
  • "Eat at least 5 servings of produce a day.  How can you remember that?"  (Give high 5’s, 5 days in school, 5 digits on your hand) 
  • Tell fruit and veggie jokes.
  • Students are challenged to make their own fruit salad at home with their parents.

1.  Make contact with the elementary schools in the town, city, or area to secure an afternoon to bring the Giant Fruit Salad to their school.

2.  Write a letter for the school to give to the students to take home asking each student to bring in a piece of fruit – fresh or canned.  We have learned that soft fleshed fresh fruit (bananas, peaches, and pears) are often bruised in backpacks and we ask parents not to send them with the students.  Ask that the fruit be brought to a central location at school 1-2 days in advance.

3.  Give the letter to the school to print and distribute.

4.  Find parent, organization, or community volunteers to help prepare the salad and go to the classrooms to serve the Giant Fruit Salad.

5.  Obtain a wheelbarrow or other unique container with the size of the container depending on the size of the student body.  The idea is to let the students see how much fruit that their combined efforts produced.

6.  If the container is not typically used to hold food, obtain food safe plastic to line the container (check you local grocery store bakery).

7.  Obtain fruit costumes for volunteers to wear while distributing fruit salad to classrooms (local extension office or costume rental businesses are good places to start).

8.  Purchase or obtain from the school cafeteria, ½-1 cup disposable bowls and spoons for students, staff, and teachers from which to enjoy the fruit salad.

9.  Purchase about 24 oz of low-fat vanilla for about every 30 students.  As the fruit salad is being prepared, stir some yogurt in to coat the fruit (providing flavor and protection from browning).

10.  Fruit shaped balloons filled with helium are a nice touch to carry into each classroom.  (can be purchased from Nasco or Nimco)

11.  Have fruit and vegetable jokes to tell the students or play fruit appropriate music (we like “Fruit Salad” by the Wiggles or Yummy Designs – 509-525-2072 for jokes).

12.  Use an inspected kitchen (the school’s cafeteria/kitchen), typically after lunch is prepared, to prepare the fruit.  Drain and cut the canned fruit.  Wash and cut the fresh fruit.  Add fruit to large serving container, stirring in yogurt, until the desired coverage is obtained.  The availability of the cafeteria will depend on the school’s food service staff and their serving schedule.


Everyone can have fun with fruits and veggies!

Here's how to bring the giant fruit salad to your school!