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Lunch Tag

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

Tags: nutrition activities, middle school, lunch

Description: Students try to cross the room without being tagged when they hear a healthy food they ate for lunch.
Objective: Students will recognize some healthy foods they can eat for lunch.
  1. Have the students stand shoulder to shoulder at one end of the room.
  2. Quickly review why it is important to eat different kinds, or a variety, of healthy lunch foods (because each different type of food does something very special and very different for our bodies such as wheat bread, which gives us energy, and oranges, which keep us healthy).
  3. Stand in the center of the room, and explain that you are going to call out a lunch food using this familiar phrase, "Red Rover, Red Rover, let anyone who ate [fill in with a common and healthy lunch food such as a turkey sandwich] come over!"
  4. The students who ate this food for lunch yesterday or today (depending on the time of day) must try to run to a line at the opposite end of the room without being tagged by you.
  5. If a student is tagged, she or he joins you in the middle as a tagger and must call out the next food.
  6. 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 not, help them come up with a healthier alternative.)
  7. 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 lunch).
  8. After a few minutes, review some of the foods mentioned and ask the class to identify which food grouping each one belongs to.

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, cucumber, grapes, blueberries, melon, and kiwi
  • Meats, beans, and nuts grouping—contains iron which makes blood healthy, brains 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, whole wheat pasta

Less Healthy ("Slow") Lunch Foods and Drinks:

  • hamburgers
  • hot dogs
  • creamy soups
  • white bread
  • soft drinks
  • cookies
  • potato chips
  • fried chicken
  • french fries
  • fried fish sticks
  • pepperoni pizza

Related National Standards

NHES: 5.8.4, 5.8.6, 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.

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