Activity Idea: Swat the Fly

This adaptation of a traditional language-learning game is a great way to build enthusiasm about nutrition lessons.

Here’s how it works. At home, you will need to create an image that can be projected onto a wall, screen, or whiteboard. This image can be composed of either a collection of varying Nutrition Facts labels, or a series of pictures of food. In either case, make sure to feature a wide variety of common foods and consider making more than one collection.

Grab a projector and set up your space before your participants arrive. Make sure the projection works, then turn it off in order to keep the image collection a secret.

Once everyone has gotten to your session, discuss the nutrient content of food. If you’re using collections of Nutrition Facts, review where to find the most important information and what to look for on the label. If you’re using images of food instead of Nutrition Facts, discuss common nutrient content and the food groups. You also may wish to discuss food components to reduce, like sodium, solid fats, and added sugars.

After you feel that the group has a solid grasp of the information, it’s time to play the game.

Divide the participants into two groups. Have each group pick a leader to go first, then form a line behind each leader. Each leader should stand within arm’s reach of the surface that your image collection will be projected onto, with the lines extending back behind each leader.

Give the person at the front of each line a fly swatter and tell them that they will need to find an image of a featured food before their counterpart on the other team. Whoever “swats” the projected image first gets a point. After each search, the leaders go to the back of the line and the next players in line step up.

Proceed through the lines until everyone gets a turn, repeat as necessary, then tally up the points and award a prize. For prize inspiration, check out http://nutritioneducationstore.com/catalog/Promotions_Gifts-161-1.html.

There are lots of things to have participants look for. Some of the most popular healthful features to “swat” in this game include…

  • Low in sodium
  • Low in saturated fat
  • Low in trans fat
  • High in fiber
  • High in vitamin C
  • High in vitamin A
  • High in iron
  • High in calcium
  • Calorie-light
  • Nutrient-dense
  • 100% whole grain
  • Source of lean protein
  • Lean dairy food
  • Low in solid fats
  • Low in added sugars

If you try this game, let us know how it goes! You can reach us at 800-462-2352 or via email at judydoherty@foodandhealth.com.

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