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Stand Up/Sit Down

Students compare healthy foods they like to eat in this energetic game

Tags: nutrition activities, middle school, additional activities

Description: Students change their position from sitting to standing in response to whether they eat certain healthy snack foods.
Objective: Students will recognize a variety of healthy foods.
  1. Tell the students to form a large circle and to sit down.
  2. Explain that you are going to review some healthy foods they can eat. Quickly review what makes a food healthy (it is low in fat and added sugar and high in nutrients).
  3. Ask them why they think it is important to eat healthy foods most of the time (because their bodies are growing; because food keeps them healthy and makes them strong; because too much fat and sugar can cause weight gain and health problems and slow their bodies down).
  4. Explain that they are going to play "Stand Up/Sit Down."
  5. Tell them you are going to call out healthy foods (see below).
  6. If they occasionally eat this food, they should stand up. For example, you can say, "Yogurt." Everyone who eats yogurt should stand up.
  7. Now some students may be standing and some may be sitting. Explain that if they eat the next food called out, they should sit if they are standing and stand if they are sitting.
  8. If they have never eaten the food, they should remain in the same position. Continue playing while naming various healthy foods from each food grouping.
  9. You can challenge the students by calling the foods out faster and faster. You can also introduce some less common foods such as bulgur, a healthy whole grain.
  10. If time permits, ask the students to review some of the healthy foods named.

Activity Variation

Once students get the hang of the game, invite a student to be the new leader in the center. Ensure that she or he calls out healthy options.


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

Healthy ("Energy"/"Go") Foods and Drinks:

  • pretzels
  • grilled chicken
  • eggs
  • oatmeal
  • fresh fruits
  • water
  • hummus
  • tuna fish
  • low-fat yogurt
  • applesauce
  • whole grain bread
  • baked tortilla chips with salsa
  • air popped popcorn (without butter)
  • low-sugar granola bars
  • whole wheat pizza
  • fresh vegetables
  • low-fat trail mix
  • peanut butter crackers
  • 100% fruit juice
  • skim or low-fat milk

Related National Standards

NHES: 1.8.1, 1.8.2, 1.8.7, 6.8.1, 7.8.1, 7.8.2
NSPE: 1, 5
NS: NS.5-8.6

Further information about the national standards can be found here.

Youth and Schools