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Snack Moves

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

Tags: nutrition activities, elementary school, snacks

Description: The class creates dance moves based on how they feel when they eat their favorite, healthy snack.
Objective: Students will share how eating a healthy snack makes them feel.
Materials: Chalkboard with chalk, poster board with markers or white board with dry erase markers
  1. Gather the students into a large circle.
  2. Ask them why it is important to eat healthy foods for snack (healthy snack foods help us "go" and grow). Ask for a few examples of healthy snack foods. Tell them foods high in added sugar (such as cookies and cake) and foods high in fat (such as potato chips and french fries) are not the healthiest options and should not be eaten often.
  3. Tell the class you are going to create another "Food Dance" with snack foods.
  4. Quickly brainstorm some "feeling" words with them (happy, excited, calm, refreshed, etc). If possible, write the words down on the board or paper.
  5. Ask them to think of their favorite healthy snack food, how it feels to eat it, and to think of a movement to show that feeling (see below). Explain that they will each say the name of their favorite, healthy snack food while they do their movement.
  6. You should give the first example. You can say the word "pretzels" as you jump up and down to show "excited."
  7. 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 added sugar or fat, gently guide her or him to think of a healthier choice.
  8. If time permits, challenge individual students to repeat the foods and movements of as many students as possible and reinforce the importance of eating healthy snack foods.

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

While snacking patterns among kids haven’t increased tremendously since the 1970s, total daily energy intake from snacks has risen significantly—from 18% to 25%. Dr. Barry Popkin, co-author of a study on these trends, reports this is an energy increase from 450 kcal to 600 kcal per day just from snacks (Nielsen, Siega-Riz, & Popkin, 2002). Because kids consume such a significant amount of energy from snacks, it is essential that they snack healthfully.

"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") 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
  • whole milk
  • candy
  • cookies
  • doughnuts
  • white bread
  • french fries
  • potato chips
  • soft drinks

Related National Standards

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

Further information about the national standards can be found here.

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