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Sugar Hop

Students learn the difference between added and natural sugar in this fun game

Tags: nutrition activities, elementary school, additional activities

Description: Students do the "sugar hop" and find out what happens when we eat too much sugar.
Objective: Students will identify a variety of low-sugar or sugar-free foods.
Materials: Masking tape to create a long, straight line on the floor (if there is no clear line already)
  1. Gather the students into a circle. Ask them if they think eating sugar will give them the energy they need to get through the day.
  2. Review how the body reacts to sugar. Sugar might make us feel excited at first, but it is burned off quickly and can leave us feeling more tired afterwards.
  3. Ask for some examples of foods high and low in added sugar. Tell them fruit has natural sugar which is good for them; it is added sugar they should try not to eat too often.
  4. Instruct the students to form a single file line. Ask them to stand with their feet and legs tightly together.
  5. On your signal, students should hop over the line on the floor, touch both feet onto the ground, and hop back.
  6. Tell them one side of the line represents foods low in or free of added sugar and the other side represents foods high in added sugar.
  7. Tell them you will call out various foods and they should hop back and forth to the corresponding side of the line. If they are on the correct side already, they should hop in place (see below for high–sugar and low-sugar foods).
  8. After a couple of minutes, ask students to review some foods low in added sugar.

Sugar is a carbohydrate. It is used by the body for energy. It is a very quick energy source because it goes through the digestive system faster than other carbohydrates. Eating foods high in sugar, especially added sugar, can provide a burst of energy soon after eating them, however, the body’s energy store will quickly be low again and a person will feel slow and tired.

Students should be encouraged to eat a combination of foods that will provide them with energy over a period of time. Fruit is a good choice when students are craving sugar, as it contains sugar naturally (and has no added sugar).

High in Added Sugar:

  • chocolate chip cookies
  • ice cream
  • fried dough
  • high-sugar juices like Kool-Aid and Hawaiian Punch
  • soft drinks
  • candy like Skittles and Snickers Bars
  • cookies like Oreos and Chips Ahoy
  • blueberry pie

Low in Added Sugar:

  • grapes
  • carrots
  • pears
  • oranges
  • pretzels
  • mangoes
  • popcorn
  • raisins
  • apple slices
  • corn tortillas
  • cucumbers
  • 100% juice
  • fruit salad
  • natural jelly
  • plain yogurt
  • low-fat or skim milk

Related National Standards

NHES: 1.5.1, 1.5.2, 5.5.5, 7.5.1, 7.5.2
NSPE: 1, 5
NS: NS.K-4.6

Further information about the national standards can be found here.

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