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Alphabet Toss

Together, students create an alphabet of their favorite, healthy breakfast foods in this active game

Tags: nutrition activities, middle school, breakfast

Description: Students pass a ball while creating an alphabet of healthy breakfast foods.
Objective: Students will review the five food groupings and identify some healthy breakfast foods.
Materials: One basketball or medium-sized bouncy ball
  1. Have the class form two lines facing each other.
  2. Remind them there are many healthy foods to choose for breakfast and that they should eat a variety of them— from all five food groupings— because each different type of food does something different and important for our bodies.
  3. Tell or ask them to name the five food groupings (fruits, vegetables, meat, beans and nuts, milk and milk products, and grains).
  4. Next, tell the students they will brainstorm lots of different healthy foods and drinks they can eat for breakfast as they play "Alphabet Toss."
  5. Explain that, together, you are going to go through the alphabet (A to Z), filling in these blanks with a name place, and a healthy breakfast food or drink: "Hi, my name is _____. I live in _____ and I eat or drink _____for breakfast."
  6. Give the ball to the first student in one line and tell them to start with "A" (e.g. "Hi, my name is Andre. I live in Atlanta and I like to eat applesauce for breakfast").
  7. When she or he is done, she or he should bounce or pass the ball to the student directly across from her or him and then run to the end of her or his line.
  8. The new student with the ball should fill in the blanks with a name, place, and healthy breakfast food beginning with "B," bounce or pass the ball to the next student in the opposite line, and run to the end of her or his line.
  9. Have them continue through the alphabet, skipping difficult letters as necessary.
  10. 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 (see below for ideas).

Avtivity Note

Certain letters, such as U, X, and Z, are difficult, so they can be skipped or you can provide hints.


Healthy ("Energy"/"Go") Breakfast Foods:

  • A--almond butter, apples, applesauce
  • B--bananas, blackberries, blueberries, beans
  • C--cherries, cantaloupe, cream of (whole) wheat
  • D--dates, dal
  • E--eggs
  • F--figs
  • G--granola, grapefruit, grapes
  • H--honeydew, hummus, hazelnuts
  • I--iced tea (low-sugar), Idaho potatoes
  • J--jam (natural), juice (100% fruit juice)
  • K--Kashi cereal, kiwi, kale
  • L--lemonade (low-sugar), lima beans, lentils
  • M--maple syrup (natural, on whole grain pancakes), mangoes, melons, milk (low-fat or skim milk)
  • N--nectarines, noodles
  • O--omelets, oranges, orange juice
  • P--pancakes (whole grain), papayas, peaches, peanut butter on toast, pears, pineapples, prunes
  • Q--quiche, quinoa
  • R--raisins, raisin toast, raspberries, rice cakes
  • S--starfruit, strawberries, scrambled eggs, smoothies, spinach (in an omelet)
  • T--tangerines, tortillas, tofu, turkey sausage, tuna, tomatoes
  • U--skip
  • V--vegetables
  • W--watermelon, whole grain bread, water, walnuts
  • X--skip
  • Y--yogurt, yolks
  • Z--zucchini

Possible Names:

  • A--Amanda, Alan, Andre
  • B----Barry, Bethany, Bruce
  • C--Caitlin, Crystal, Cameron
  • D--David, Denise, Drew
  • E--Ebony, Elise, Eddy
  • F--Fiona, Francisco, Freddy
  • G--Gabriel, Grace, Gerry
  • H--Hannah, Heather, Hector
  • I--Irene, Isabella, Inez
  • J--Jasmine, Jason, Jerome
  • K--Kelly, Kiara, Kim
  • L--Lisa, Lizzy, Luis
  • M--Maria, Mauricio, Monique
  • N--Nancy, Naimah, Norene
  • O--Ofir, Oliver, Owen
  • P--Paola, Patrick, Peter
  • Q--Quentin, Quiana, Quincy
  • R--Rebecca, Rosa, Ryan
  • S--Simone, Siobhan, Stacy
  • T--Thomas, Tiffany, Trevon
  • U--Uba, Ulises, Ursula
  • V--Vanesa, Veronica, Vince
  • W--Walter, Wanda, Wayne
  • X--Xavier, Xenobia, Xia
  • Y--Yasmine, Yolanda, Yosef
  • Z--Zachary, Zahara, Zara

Possible Places:

  • A--Alaska, Antarctica, Atlanta
  • B--Bangladesh, Bolivia, Brooklyn
  • C--China, Chile, Cincinnati
  • D--Denmark, Detroit, Dominican Republic
  • E--Egypt, El Salvador, Europe
  • F--Fiji, Florida, France
  • G--Georgia, Ghana, Guyana
  • H--Hawaii, Haiti, Hungary
  • I--Illinois, Israel, Iraq
  • J--Jamaica, Japan, Jordon
  • K--Kansas, Kenya, Korea
  • L--Lebanon, Liberia, Los Angeles
  • M--Mali, Mexico, Mississippi
  • N--New York, New Orleans, Nicaragua
  • O--Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon
  • P--Pakistan, Philadelphia, Philippines
  • Q--Qatar, Quebec, Quinnipiac
  • R--Rhode Island, Rwanda, Russia
  • S--Singapore, South Carolina, Spain
  • T--Tanzania, Texas, Turkey
  • U--Uganda, United States, Utah
  • V--Venezuela, Vietnam, Virginia
  • W--Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming
  • X--skip
  • Y--Yemen, Yosemite
  • Z--Zambia, Zimbabwe, Zurich

Related National Standards

NHES: 1.8.1, 1.8.2, 1.8.7, 5.8.6, 7.8.1
NSPE: 1, 2, 5
NS: NS.5-8.6

Further information about the national standards can be found here.

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