Loopy Laps

Students alter their speed according to the healthiness of foods in this dynamic game.

Tags: nutrition activities, elementary school, breakfast

Description In this game, students will speed up or slow down their movements in response to the healthiness of the food named.
Objective Students will distinguish between "go" (healthy) and "slow" (less healthy) breakfast foods.
  1. Gather the students into a circle.
  2. Tell them foods such as bananas, strawberries, spinach, milk, tomatoes, whole grain (brown) toast, low-fat yogurt, and eggs are called "go" foods because they make their bodies strong and healthy so they can play and grow.
  3. Ask them if they have ever had a doughnut for breakfast. Explain that because doughnuts are high in fat and added sugar they should not be eaten too often.
  4. Tell them foods that taste sugary (candy) and foods that feel greasy (bacon) are called "slow" foods because they can slow their bodies down. Explain that "slow" foods are also called "junk foods." Point out that although sugar can make them feel excited at first, it will make them feel very tired after a while. Ask them if they like feeling tired.
  5. Emphasize that students should choose "go" breakfast foods more often.
  6. Explain that you will list some breakfast foods (select examples from the "go" and "slow" foods listed below) and ask the students to call out "go" or "slow" for each one.
  7. Once they have correctly identified some foods, play "'Go' or 'Slow'"
  8. Call out the breakfast foods again (see below). If a food is a "go" breakfast food, the students should jog (or skip or hop) in a circle. If a food is a "slow" food, they should slow-motion walk in a circle.
  9. Demonstrate the movements, then start the game with a "go" food. Have the students move for 10-15 seconds after each food is called. (If you wish to keep them on their toes, pick up the pace.)
  10. If time permits, review some foods and their "go" or "slow" classifications with the class. Remind the class to choose "go" foods more often.
Background information

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.

It is important to connect kids with their food and get them thinking about food less in terms of "good" and "gross" and more in terms of "healthy" and "less healthy" (or "go" and "slow").

Healthy ("Go") Breakfast Foods and Drinks:

  •  chicken sausage
  •  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 omelets
  •  scrambled eggs
  •  berry whole wheat or buckwheat pancakes
  •  100% orange juice
  •  whole-grain cereals like Cheerios and Wheaties

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: 1.2.1, 5.2.1, 7.2.1
NS: NS.K-4.6
NSPE: 1, 2, 5

Further information about the national standards can be found here.

Youth and Schools