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Story Time

Students use their storytelling skills to learn to choose healthy snacks

Tags: nutrition activities, elementary school, snacks

Description: Students discuss and act out their healthy snack eating routines.
Objective: Students will share how preparing and eating snack makes them feel.
  1. Gather the students into a circle and instruct them to sit down.
  2. Ask them why it is important to eat healthy foods for snack ("go" foods give us the energy to learn and play, etc).
  3. Tell them it is "Story Time" again, but this time they will be telling "Snack Stories."
  4. Then tell them about your own snack ritual. Talk about what you ate for snack yesterday and how it made you feel. Describe how the food feels, smells, sounds, and tastes. Use movements to show how you prepare and eat the food.
  5. Next, ask individual students to tell the story of their own snack eating routines in the middle of the circle.
  6. Guide them with questions:
    • What will they eat for snack today?
    • How does the food look, taste, and smell?
    • What do they, the cafeteria workers, or their families do to prepare the food?
    • Does it have to be cooked or toasted? Chopped or stirred?
    • What are their favorites parts about eating snack?
    • How do they feel after eating it?
  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. Once they finish their story, invite those students who also enjoy these foods to jump five times in place.
  9. After a few students have had a turn, ask some new students to mime their snack routines (how they prepare and eat it) in the center of the circle (one at a time) without talking.
  10. Have the rest of the class imitate the mimes. Then, invite the class to guess what the snack foods are. Once they have guessed correctly, the students who enjoy these snack foods should jump all the way around the outside of the circle and back to their spots.

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 Drink:

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

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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