Four Outstanding Games for Nutrition, Food Safety and MyPlate

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Here are 4 fun games that will teach participants about good nutrition, food safety, and MyPlate!

Processed Food Run

Game: How what’s in food affects your body

Purpose: To make students aware of the damage processed food has on your body


• 4 strands of 100-feet sturdy rope

• 9 orange plastic cones

• Food labels or pictures of single foods (fruit or vegetable) on index cards

• Timer

• Plastic grocery bags filled with newspaper

Background knowledge needed: Participants need to know how to read food labels

How to set up the game: Put the ropes in the shape of a huge body, with 2 cones at each extremity and one at the heart.

How to play the game:

1. Form 2 teams and have participants stand in a line.

2. The first participant of a team pulls a food label from a paper bag.

3. They count how many ingredients the item has.

4. The number of ingredients is the number of kids that team member takes with him to go around the body. If the number of items is more than the number of kids on the team, he just takes the whole team with him. If it’s a picture of a vegetable or fruit, he goes by himself.

5. Team members start at the heart and hold hands. When the timer sounds, they run around the body within the specified amount of time (1 minute or less, depending on the age) and back to the heart. When they get to the heart, they are to do the number of jumping jacks equal to the number of ingredients. If they are able to complete this within the time limit, the team gets a point. Of course the more ingredients (people) there are to run around the body, the more time it takes to complete the run. If there’s only one ingredient (person), he can go fast (whole food).

• If there are 10 or more items in the ingredients, that usually means there must be trash (chemical additives) in the food so the team takes a “trash” bag with them when they run and they drop it somewhere in the body. If there is a high-fiber, single-item food, it helps to clean up the body so that person can “pick up the trash” while he is running around the body. By Loke Roseguo

Spot the MyPlate Problem

One we use is a game we call “Spot the MyPlate Problem.” We use plate with food models to depict the food options for each area. It involves putting a food in an incorrect area such as the entire cheeseburger (rather than just the bun) in the grains category. We found it to be a great opportunity to discuss MyPlate with children and/or adults while having a little creative fun! We give out fruit and veggie stickers to those who guess correctly.

Meat Model Madness

Another is the teaching resource, “Meat Model Madness” which involves “Play-Doh-type” hamburger meat with glued on split peas. (We make the models in the office.) The peas denote the number of bacteria that grow in intervals of 30 minutes when the meat is thawing on the counter top. It is a truly disgusting way to demonstrate the need to thaw meat in the refrigerator or in the microwave.


A third game is called “Buzz.” Two groups of kids or adults play against each other. A coffee can with slips of paper or poker chips depicting points and a “buzz” are put in the can. Each team plays by answering specific questions on nutrition, financial management, food safety, etc. The group that reaches 50 points first is the winner! Teams that draw the “buzz” lose all the points they have accumulated. By Carolyn Richel.

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