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Sandwich Stack

Together, students create healthy sandwiches in this relay game

Tags: nutrition activities, middle school, additional activities

Description: Students build delicious and healthy sandwiches, ingredient by ingredient, on competing relay teams.
Objective: Students will recognize some healthy foods they can put in a sandwich.
Materials: Awards for "Most Creative Sandwich"; "Sandwich Containing the Most Food Groupings"; "Most Disgusting Sandwich"; and "Most Delicious Sandwich"
  1. Ask the students to raise their hands if they eat sandwiches.
  2. Point out sandwiches are great because they can contain foods from many different food groupings such as: fruits (low sugar, whole fruit jelly spread or banana); vegetables (lettuce, cucumber, pickles); meats, beans, and nuts (chicken, turkey, tuna, hummus, peanut butter); milk products (low-fat Muenster or Swiss cheese); and grains (whole wheat or rye bread or rolls).
  3. Explain that they are going to build their own sandwich with many different ingredients.
  4. Divide the class into four groups. Place half of each group at one end of the room directly across from the other half of their group members.
  5. On your signal, the first player from each group on one side of the room will jog to their group across the room, name the bread their sandwich will be made of (wheat, rye, roll, bagel, etc.) and slap hands with the next teammate.
  6. Then one at a time, each player will jog across the room, name a healthy ingredient to put into the sandwich, and slap hands with the next teammate. Tell the students to remember their ingredients.
  7. Continue until each player gets an opportunity to jog across the room and name a food for their team’s sandwich.
  8. After, have each team review their sandwich and share their ingredients with the group.
  9. If time permits, have the class vote on each of the award categories (and hand out awards).

A typical American sandwich does not always contain the healthiest ingredients, so students may attempt to add unhealthy ingredients to their sandwiches. In that case, gently guide her or him to come up with a healthier choice (e.g. students may want to add a condiment to their sandwich such as mayonnaise, but mayonnaise is generally high in fat and should only be eaten in moderation). For flavoring, low-sugar mustard (probably not honey mustard) or fresh pepper are better choices.

"Energy"/"Go" foods refer to nutritious foods which give the body the energy to go and grow. "Empty"/"Slow" foods refer to foods high in fat and added sugar which can slow the body down.

Healthy ("Energy"/"Go") Sandwich Ingredients:

  • turkey
  • eggs
  • bananas
  • hummus
  • sprouts
  • lettuce
  • spinach
  • tomatoes
  • basil
  • arugula
  • pickles
  • peppers
  • onions
  • grilled chicken
  • tuna (with little or no mayonnaise)
  • egg salad (with little or no mayonnaise)
  • natural peanut butter
  • natural jelly
  • cucumbers
  • scallions
  • mushrooms
  • grilled eggplant
  • low-fat cheese
  • low-sugar mustard
  • whole wheat or rye bread or rolls
  • corn or whole wheat tortillas

Less Healthy ("Empty"/"Slow") Sandwich Ingredients:

  • bacon
  • salami
  • pepperoni
  • mayonnaise
  • honey mustard
  • fried ingredients
  • white bread or hamburger buns
  • white flour tortillas
  • high-fat peanut butter
  • high-sugar jelly

Related National Standards

NHES: 5.8.6, 7.8.1, 7.8.2
NSPE: 1, 5
NS: NS.5-8.6

Further information about the national standards can be found here.

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