AlertPlease note that the location for the NYRR Youth Running Series event on October 8 has changed from Clove Lakes Park to Silver Lake Park on Staten Island. 

Beanbag Toss

Students learn healthy food choices in this fast-paced game

Tags: nutrition activities, elementary school, additional activities

Description: Students throw and catch a beanbag and hop around while naming healthy foods.
Objective: Students will identify a variety of healthy foods.
Materials: Beanbag or Koosh Ball
  1. Ask the students to stand in a circle.
  2. Toss the beanbag (using an underhand throw) to a student. This student should then throw the beanbag to a new student.
  3. Each student should catch the beanbag once and then sit down so it is clear who still needs a turn.
  4. Ask the students why it is important to eat lots of different kinds, or a variety, of healthy foods (because each healthy food does something very different and very special for our bodies). Give them some specific examples (e.g. oranges help us fight off colds and low-fat yogurt keeps our bones strong).
  5. Now have the students play the game again, only this time after each student tosses the beanbag across the circle, she or he should follow it by hopping over to that location and taking up that place in the circle.  The student who receives the beanbag should catch it, state one healthy food, and then toss the beanbag to a different student.
  6. If a student names a "slow" food, challenge her or him to think of a healthier choice.
  7. There should be continuous movement as students toss, catch, and move to a new spot. If a student names a "slow" food, challenge her or him to think of a healthier choice.
  8. See how long they can keep the beanbag moving and how many healthy foods they can name.
  9. If you wish to challenge the students further, call out a category. When they receive the beanbag, they must name a healthy food in that category (e.g. snack food, white food, sticky food, crunchy food, red food, food starting with a "B", food that can go in a sandwich, a vegetable, a fruit, etc).

Although all foods can fit into a healthy eating plan in moderation, it is important to reinforce that healthier foods give the body more energy to play and grow. "Junk foods," (processed foods high in fat and added sugar), contain a significant amount of calories but add very little nutrition to kids’ diets.

"Go" foods refer to nutritious foods which give the body the energy to go and grow. "Slow" foods refer to foods high in fat and added sugar which can slow the body down.

Healthy ("Go") Foods and Drinks:

  • pretzels
  • eggs
  • oatmeal
  • fresh fruits
  • turkey
  • hummus
  • tuna fish
  • low-fat yogurt
  • applesauce
  • 100% fruit juice
  • water
  • whole grain bread
  • baked tortilla chips with salsa
  • air popped popcorn (without butter)
  • low-sugar granola bars
  • grilled chicken
  • whole wheat pizza
  • low-fat trail mix
  • fresh vegetables
  • peanut butter crackers
  • skim or low-fat milk
  • natural fruit smoothies

Less Healthy ("Slow") Foods and Drinks:

  • white bread
  • rolls
  • cake
  • pie
  • bacon
  • doughnuts
  • soft drinks
  • cookies (Oreos, etc.)
  • fried chicken
  • potato chips
  • candy (Skittles, etc.)
  • high sugar juice (Kool-Aid, etc.)

Related National Standards

NHES: 1.2.1, 7.2.1
NSPE: 1, 5
NS: NS.K-4.6

Further information about the national standards can be found here.

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