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Dinner Tag

Students compare healthy dinner foods they have eaten in this twist on tag

Tags: nutrition activities, middle school, dinner

Description: Students try to cross the room without being tagged when they hear a healthy food they ate for dinner.
Objective: Students will recognize some healthy foods they can eat for dinner.
  1. Begin this activity by having the students stand shoulder to shoulder at one end of the room.
  2. Stand in the center of the space, and explain that you are going to call out a dinner food using this familiar phrase, "Red Rover, Red Rover, let anyone who ate [fill in with a common, healthy dinner food such as rice and beans] come over!"
  3. Students who ate this food for dinner yesterday must try to run to a line at the opposite end of the room without being tagged by you.
  4. If a student is tagged, she or he joins you in the middle as a tagger and must call out the next food.
  5. If more than one student is tagged, together they must come up with and call out the next food. (Consult with the student(s) first to ensure the food is healthy; if it is not, help them come up with a healthier alternative.)
  6. If you want to liven things up you can tell students to attempt to cross if they have eaten this food in the past week, or if they like this food, and not just if they ate it for dinner.
  7. After a few minutes, review some of the foods mentioned and ask the students to identify which food grouping each one belongs to.

Eating dinner is important because it refuels the body with the nutrients it needs to function at its best. Dinner is also a social event, and can be quality time spent with family members. Frequent family meals are associated with better grades, a lower risk of smoking, drinking and using marijuana, and a lower incidence of depressive symptoms and suicidal thoughts.

There are five food groupings:

  • Milk and milk products grouping—contains vitamin D and calcium which keep bones and teeth strong, includes skim or low-fat milk, yogurt, or cheese
  • Vegetable grouping and fruit grouping—contain vitamins A, B, and C which make eyes sparkle, skin smooth, and help fight off colds, and fiber which helps body digest food, keeps teeth and gums healthy, and helps cuts heal quickly, includes carrots, snap peas, cucumbers, grapes, blueberries, melon, and kiwi
  • Meats, beans, and nuts grouping—contains iron which makes blood healthy, the brain grow, and builds muscles, includes peanut butter, beans, and grilled turkey, fish, and chicken
  • Grain grouping—contains carbohydrates which give the body energy, includes whole grain bread, bagels, brown rice, and whole wheat pasta

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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