AlertThe application for the 2017 United Airlines NYC Half is now open. Enter the drawing or claim your guaranteed entry today!

Dinner Mime

Students learn about healthy dinners by miming and guessing how they are prepared

Tags: nutrition activities, elementary school, dinner

Description: In this new twist on charades, students mime preparing healthy dinners while partners mirror and guess the meal.
Objective: Students will identify the five food groupings and share how eating and preparing a healthy dinner makes them feel.
  1. Divide the class into pairs.
  2. Ask them why it is important to eat healthy foods for dinner (healthy dinner foods refuel our bodies with energy spent during the day).
  3. Next, ask them what food groupings are (categories of different types of foods based on what they provide for and how they affect our bodies).
  4. Then, ask or tell them the five food groupings and give them examples of dinner foods in each (fruits— strawberries, oranges; vegetables— lettuce, potatoes; grains— whole wheat pasta, brown rice; milk and milk products— skim milk, low-fat yogurt; meats, beans, and nuts— grilled chicken and salmon).
  5. Tell the students they are going to play "Mirror."
  6. Have each pair of students face one another and ask them to decide who will be the first Leader and who will be the first Follower.
  7. Tell them the Leader should mime a healthy dinner being prepared and eaten using slow, smooth movements. The Follower should try to guess what the dinner is as she or he mirrors her or his partner’s movements.
  8. Once she or he guesses correctly, the Leader should finish her or his mime and the partners should switch roles so the Leader is now the Follower and the Follower is now the Leader.
  9. If a student mimes a food or drink high in added sugar or fat, gently guide her or him to think of a healthier choice.
  10. If time allows, ask a couple of pairs of students to mime their dinner routines in front of the class and have the class guess. Then reinforce the importance of eating a healthy dinner.

Eating dinner is important because it refuels the body with the nutrients it needs to function at its best. Dinner is also a social event, and it can be quality time spent with family members. Frequent family meals are associated with better grades, a lower risk of smoking, drinking, and using marijuana, and a lower incidence of depressive symptoms and suicidal thoughts.

"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") Dinner Foods and Drinks:

  • asparagus
  • avocado
  • brown rice
  • black beans
  • grilled tuna
  • corn
  • green beans
  • mushrooms
  • snap peas
  • salads
  • tofu
  • watermelon
  • yogurt
  • zucchini
  • baked potatoes
  • steamed broccoli
  • steamed cauliflower
  • carrot sticks
  • grilled chicken
  • grilled turkey
  • grilled salmon
  • low-fat macaroni and cheese
  • low-fat milk
  • whole-grain (brown) noodles
  • low-fat vegetable pizza
  • turkey sausage
  • corn or whole wheat tortillas
  • vegetable burgers


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

  • hamburgers
  • hot dogs
  • french fries
  • creamy soups
  • soft drinks
  • cookies
  • refried beans
  • fried chicken
  • fried fish sticks
  • high fat pepperoni pizza
  • General Tso's chicken
  • sweet and sour chicken

Related National Standards

NHES: 1.5.1, 1.5.2, 6.5.1
NSPE: 1, 2, 5
NS: NS.K-4.6

Further information about the national standards can be found here.

Youth and Schools

New York Road Runners Mission