Loopy Laps

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

Tags: nutrition activities, elementary school, snacks

Description: In this game, students will speed up or slow down their movements in response to the healthiness of the snack food mentioned. 
Objective: Students will distinguish between "go" (healthy) and "slow" (less healthy) snack foods.
  1. Gather the students into a circle around you.
  2. Quickly review what makes a food a "go" food vs. a "slow" food.  ("Go" foods help their bodies play and grow.  "Slow" foods are high in fat and added sugar and can slow thier bodies down.)
  3. Remind them 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.
  4. Explain that you will list some snack foods (select examples from the "go" and "slow" foods below) and ask the students to call out "go" or "slow" for each one.
  5. Once they have correctly identified some foods, tell them you are going to play "'Go' or 'Slow'?" again, but this time with snack foods.
  6. Tell the students you are going to name a snack food.  If they think it is a "go" snack food, they should jog  (or skip or hop) in a circle.  If they think it is a "slow" snack food, they should slow-motion walk in a circle.
  7. Demonstrate the movements, then start the game with a "go" food.
  8. Have the students perform each action for 10-15 seconds before naming a new food.
  9. If you wish to challenge the group further and keep them on their toes, pick up the pace as you switch between "slow" and "go" foods.
  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.

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") Snack Foods and Drinks:

  • cherries
  • hummus
  • nuts
  • water
  • carrots
  • pretzels
  • raisins
  • peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
  • peanut butter crackers
  • low-fat yogurt
  • low-fat granola
  • popcorn (without butter)
  • natural fruit smoothies

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

  • hot dogs
  • candy
  • cookies
  • doughnuts
  • soft drinks
  • white bread
  • whole milk
  • french fries
  • potato chips

Related National Standards

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

Further information about the national standards can be found here.

Youth and Schools