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Alphabet Toss

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

Tags: nutrition activities, middle school, dinner

Description: Students pass a ball while creating an alphabet of healthy dinner foods.
Objective: Students will identify some healthy dinner 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 dinner and that they should eat a variety of them because each different type of food does something different and important for our bodies.
  3. Ask what food groupings are (categories of different types of foods based on what they provide for and how they affect our bodies). Then, ask or tell 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 are going to think of lots of healthy dinner foods and drinks as they play "Alphabet Toss" again.
  5. Explain that, together, you are going to go through the alphabet (A to Z), filling in these blanks with a name, a place, and a healthy dinner food or drink (see below for ideas): "Hi, my name is _____. I live in _____, and I eat or drink _____for dinner."
  6. Give the ball to the first student in one line and tell them to start with "A" (e.g. "My name is Aliyah. I live in Atlanta, and I eat avocado for dinner").
  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 dinner 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).

Activity Note

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


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

  • A--asparagus, avocado
  • B--beans, beets, bok choy
  • C--cheese (low-fat), chicken, corn
  • D--dairy, dill pickles, dried fruit
  • E--eggs, eggplant, endive
  • F--fajitas, fish, fruits
  • G--green beans, green peppers
  • H--halibut, hummus
  • I--Idaho Potatoes
  • J--jicama, jam (natural), juice (natural)
  • K--kale, kiwi
  • L--lasagna, lettuce, lima beans
  • M--meat (turkey, chicken, fish), milk (low-fat or skim), mushrooms
  • N--nectarines, noodles, nuts
  • O--orange peppers, oranges
  • P--parsley, pasta, peas
  • Q--quiche, quinoa
  • R--raisins, risotto, rice
  • S--salad, soup, strawberries
  • T--tomatoes, tortillas, turkey
  • U--udon noodles
  • V--vegetables, veggie burgers
  • W--water, watermelon, whole grain bread
  • X--skip
  • Y--yams, yellow peppers, yogurt
  • Z--ziti, 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: 5.8.4, 5.8.6, 7.8.1, 7.8.2
NSPE: 1, 2, 5
NS: NS.5-8.6

Further information about the national standards can be found here.

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