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Hot Potato

Students learn about healthy dinner choices in this trivia game

Tags: nutrition activities, elementary school, dinner

Description: Students pass a beanbag "hot potato" style, answering dinner trivia questions whenever the teacher says "freeze!"
Objective: Students recognize the importance of eating a variety of foods for dinner.
Materials: One tennis ball, beanbag, or Koosh Ball


  1. Ask the students to stand in a large circle.
  2. Quickly review the food groupings with them (fruits; vegetables; meats, beans, and nuts; grains; and milk and milk products).
  3. Ask them why it’s important to eat foods from all of the food groupings (every different type of food helps our bodies in different, specific ways such as carrots, which help eyesight and milk, which strengthens bones).
  4. Explain that they are going to play "Q&A Toss."
  5. The students should pass the ball from one person to the other around the circle.
  6. Whoever has the ball when you say "DINNER" should hold onto the ball as you ask a question. After they answer the question, they should continue passing the ball.
  7. 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.
  8. Some sample questions are:
    • What red fruits can you have for dessert?
    • What is your favorite milk product to eat or drink with dinner?
    • What is your favorite healthy dinner food from the meats, beans, and nuts grouping?
    • What is your favorite healthy green dinner food?
    • What crunchy vegetables can you eat for dinner?
    • What is your favorite whole grain food to eat for dinner?
  9. If time permits, review some of the healthy foods mentioned.

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.

Possible Responses:

  • Red fruits--apples, strawberries, raspberries
  • Milk Products--low-fat or skim milk, low-fat cheddar, parmesan, or mozzarella cheese
  • Dinner food from the meats, beans, and nuts grouping--grilled turkey or chicken, tuna, bean burritos
  • Green dinner foods--spinach, green beans, peas, cucumber, apples, pears
  • Crunchy vegetables--carrots, snap peas, corn on the cob
  • Whole grain foods--brown rice, whole grain (wheat, rye, pumpernickel, etc.) pasta, breads, rolls, or pitas, whole corn tortillas

Related National Standards

NHES: 1.5.1, 1.5.2, 5.5.5, 7.5.1, 7.5.2
NSPE: 1, 2, 5
NS: NS.K-4.6

Further information about the national standards can be found here.

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