As part of an after-school Food, Fun & Fitness program, Connie Barnett, Family and Consumer Science Educator with Maryland Cooperative Extension, starts each class with a relay race in the school gym. To add to the learning experience, the relay always has something to do with nutrition. Having each team separate laminated cards depicting high-fat, high-sugar snack foods from nutrient-dense snack foods is a popular idea. Each team races to see which one will fill their 2 boxes with the correct cards first. Another idea for the relay could be picking up cards that picture food, or using food models, and racing to the other end of the gym to place them in the correct MyPlate food category. A great benefit of starting an after-school class this way is that the kids are ready to settle down to learning or doing their homework when they get back to the classroom!
Stephanie Ronco has been editing for Food and Health Communications since 2011. She graduated from Colorado College magna cum laude with distinction in Comparative Literature. She was elected a member of Phi Beta Kappa in 2008.