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Breakfast Moves

Students work together to create a dance about how their favorite, healthy breakfast foods make them feel

Tags: nutrition activities, elementary school, breakfast

Description The class creates dance moves based on how they feel when they eat their favorite, healthy, breakfast foods.
Objective Students will share how eating a healthy breakfast makes them feel.
  1. Gather the students into a circle.
  2. Ask them why we eat breakfast (to give our bodies the energy to learn and play). Ask them how they feel when they skip breakfast (tired, hungry, weak, distracted). Ask them if they like feeling this way. Tell them foods high in added sugar (such as doughnuts and high-sugar cereals) and foods high in fat (such as pork bacon) are not the healthiest options and should not be eaten often because they can slow our bodies down.
  3. Tell the class they are going to create a "Food Dance."
  4. Ask them to think of their favorite, healthy breakfast food, how eating it makes them feel, and to think of a movement to show that feeling (some movement ideas: to show "full," rub your tummy; to show "happy," twirl around; to show "refreshed," stretch your arms high above your head; to show "fast," pump your arms).
  5. Tell them they will each say the name of their favorite healthy breakfast food while they do their movement.
  6. You should give the first example. You can say the word "blueberries" as you jump up and down to show "excited."
  7. The next student should repeat your food and movement and then say and perform her or his own, and so on until the last student, who must repeat all that came before her or him.
  8. Make your way around the circle. Have the group imitate each student after her or his turn. If a student names a food or drink high in fat or added sugar, gently guide her or him to think of a healthier choice.
  9. If the activity is too difficult, divide the class into small groups or, when a student makes a mistake, have the next student start over with only her or his food and movement.
  10. If a student names a food or drink high in added sugar or fat, gently guide her or him to think of a healthier choice.
  11. If time permits, review the foods mentioned and reinforce the importance of eating a healthy breakfast every day.

Activity Note

Some movement ideas are:

  •  To show "full," rub your tummy
  •  To show "happy," twirl around
  •  To show "refreshed," stretch your arms high above your head
  •  To show "fast," pump your arms


    Background information

    Breakfast is an important meal. Growing bodies and developing brains rely heavily on the regular intake of food. When kids skip breakfast, they can end up going for as long as eighteen hours without food, and this period of semi-starvation can create a lot of physical, intellectual and behavioral problems.

    Breakfast eaters can concentrate better, have better attendance, are less irritable and fatigued, and have better control of their weight. Skipping breakfast is associated with increased body weight. "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") Breakfast Foods and Drinks:

    •  chicken or turkey sausage
    •  beans
    •  oatmeal with skim or low-fat milk and honey
    •  whole grain (brown) bread or toast
    •  cream of rice or wheat with water and honey
    •  skim or low-fat yogurt, cheese, and milk
    •  bananas
    •  peaches
    •  spinach or veggie omelets
    •  scrambled eggs
    •  berry whole wheat or buckwheat pancakes
    •  100% orange juice or other natural fruit juices
    •  whole-grain cereals like Cheerios and Wheaties with bananas or blueberries
    •  fruit smoothies
    •  hard-boiled eggs
    •  low-fat granola or granola bars
    •  water

    Less Healthy ("Slow") Breakfast Foods and Drinks:

    •  doughnuts
    •  danishes
    •  high-sugar cereals like Lucky Charms and Frosted Flakes
    •  pork sausage or bacon
    •  white bread or toast
    •  high-sugar fruit juices like Kool-Aid and Hawaiian Punch
    •  home fries (fried in oil or with butter)
    •  coffee cake
    •  white flour pancakes with syrup

Related National Standards

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

Further information about the national standards can be found here.

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