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Pasta Weave

In this relay game, students learn healthy foods that can be added to pasta

Tags: nutrition activities, middle school, additional activities

Description: Students brainstorm healthy foods to toss with pasta as they compete in relay races.
Objective: Students will identify healthy foods that can be added to pasta meals.
  1. Ask the students to raise their hands if they eat pasta. Do they have a favorite kind of pasta?
  2. Explain to the students that pasta is a great food to eat. It provides them with lots of nutrients and fiber which help the body "go." Tell them whole grain pasta, which is usually darker in color, is healthier than white flour pasta.
  3. Then, tell them there are many foods that can be eaten with pasta to make it even healthier. Ask them for some ideas of foods that can be eaten with pasta (see below for ideas).
  4. Divide the students into two groups. Have each group stand in a single-file line extending from one end of the room to the other. Make sure there is plenty of space between each student.
  5. Tell them they are going to have a relay race.
  6. On your signal, have the last player from each group weave her or his way through every student in the line. Once she or he reaches the end, she or he should call out the name of a healthy food that goes well with pasta.
  7. The next student cannot go through the line until the previous student has completed the activity.
  8. Each group should continue until all the students have gone. Encourage the students not to repeat any foods.
  9. 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 before the next person goes.
  10. If time permits, review some of the students’ healthy pasta additions.

Activity Note

Students should be advised to choose tomato-based sauces rather than creamy sauces made with whole milk or cream for their pasta meals.


Pasta is an excellent food choice because it is a good source of carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and iron. Pasta by itself is low in fat, and provides energy that helps children to learn, play, and stay physically active. Whole grain pasta is best.

"Energy"/"Go" foods refer to nutritious foods which give the body the energy to go and grow.

Healthy ("Go") Foods that can be added to Pasta:

  • lean meats, such as grilled chicken and turkey
  • turkey or chicken sausage
  • nuts
  • beans
  • a variety of seafood such as shrimp and clams
  • a variety of fruits and vegetables including tomatoes, peas, snap peas, broccoli, mushrooms, carrots, zucchini, asparagus, cranberries, raisins, pears, fresh herbs, and peppers
  • low-fat cheeses such as mozzarella, cheddar, and goat cheese

Related National Standards

NHES: 1.5.1, 1.5.2, 7.5.1
NSPE: 1, 5
NS: NS.5-8.6

Further information about the national standards can be found here.

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