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Food & Fitness Fest

The Food and Fitness Fest is an event that uses fun games to teach kids about healthy eating.

Tags: event guide, field day

This event is typically one to two hours long and finishes with a delicious healthy snack for all to enjoy. It can accommodate a range of participants—one class, the entire school, the whole community. If you have already used the Nutrition Activities with your students, they will be excited to teach them to their parents. 

1- EVENT LOGISTICS

Great events start weeks in advance with thorough planning and forethought. Use the following resources to prepare:

2- LOCATION/VENUE

Pick a location that is safe, accessible, and large enough for participants to move around.

  • Have an open space approximately 20 feet x 20 feet for every 25 or so participants. (Most Active Eating games can be played in smaller spaces or in a classroom, provided there is adequate space to move around.)
  • For large groups, you will need multiple classrooms or a large open space such as a gym, school yard, or park.

 

3- MANAGING GROUPS

If you have a lot of participants, split them into two or more groups.

  • We suggest groups of 25 people or less.
  • Decide how to organize groups in advance, e.g. class, age group, or random assignment.
  • Designate one activity leader for each group. Activity leaders are assigned to a group to lead all of its activities, or they can be assigned an activity and groups can rotate amongst the activity leaders.

4- GAMES

We suggest you play two to four of the Nutrition Activity games and that you include time for the discussion points around each activity so everyone understands the importance of healthy eating.

Here are five ideas to get you started, but feel free to check out the full set of activities and choose your favorites:

5- HEALTHY SNACKS

Conclude the overall event with a healthy snack. Make sure to have water on hand as well.

  • Prepare the snacks in advance and make sure to bring napkins, plates, utensils, or any other supplies as needed. Include volunteers if you need extra help.
  • Here are some simple snack ideas. Feel free to come up with your own, just make sure to keep them healthy and fresh.
    • Fruit kebabs with fat-free yogurt dipping sauce: chop up assorted fruit, sprinkle with lemon juice to keep fresh if not being eaten right away, place 5-8 pieces on a wood skewer for each participant, serve on a small plate with a spoonful of fat-free plain yogurt mixed with a touch of lemon and honey.
    • Veggies with hummus: slice assorted veggies, serve on small plates or bowls with a spoonful of hummus.
    • Ants on a Log: cut celery stalks in thirds, fill the groves with natural peanut butter, place a few raisins on each "log", serve on small plates or napkins.
    • Homemade trail mix: mix together a variety of unsalted nuts, dried fruit, pretzels etc., serve in small cups or bags.
  • We suggest having 16 - 24 oz (2 - 3 cups) of water for each participant if water fountains aren't available. Buy gallon jugs of water and small cups.
  • To keep track of who has received the snack, give batches to teachers/coaches to distribute to their groups. Alternatively, have participants line up in an orderly fashion and require a ticket or somehow mark each participant as they receive their serving.

 

6- WRAP-UP

Thank all your participants and helpers. Remind them to have fun exploring healthy eating options, trying new foods, and eating a variety of colors.

7- ADDITIONAL IDEAS

Have participants help make the snacks. Do this either after the games are finished, or groups can rotate through game stations and snack prep stations. Preparing the food themselves makes kids and other participants more excited to eat it. Make sure you have adequate supervision for young kids and all the necessary ingredients and prep tools (such as cutting boards, knives, a sink for washing up, etc.)

8- RESOURCES

A complete list of Food & Fitness Fest planning documents and resources:

Event Planning Guide

Planning Timeline

Food and Fitness Fest Staffing and Supplies Checklist 

Nutrition Activities 

Youth and Schools