Food In The Cupboard

Kids will love guarding the healthiest foods in the cupboard and learning about healthy choices during this tagging game. Explore this fun nutrition lesson.

Group of kids sitting in a circle having a discussion
Small group of kids writing their thoughts on paper
Small group of kids playing fitClub balloon toss game
Kids running around cones in a gym
Girl looking too tired to eat the food on the table
Group of kids doing stretching exercises on yoga mats

Activity Purpose

Learn about the best nutrition choices while playing a game similar to tag. Kids will have fun while guarding the healthiest foods in their cupboard!


  • Recognize that your energy (recharge) can influence your food and beverage choices.
  • Use a stoplight as a tool to make nutritional food and beverage choices: green-light (eat more), yellow-light (eat some), and red-light (eat less).


  • Talk Time: Kids sit and stretch or stand and march in place. Be sure they are a safe distance (arm’s length) apart.
  • Activity: Only the green-light and red-light Food Activity Cards are used for this activity. Separate cards by looking at the color of the food word's text (green, yellow, or red). Place a cone or an object at one end of the activity space. 
  • Wrap Up: Kids partner with someone sitting near them for discussion.

Talk Time


Q: Are apples and bananas green-light, yellow-light, or red-light foods?
A: They are green-light foods! They are loaded with nutrition to fuel you up with energy!

Here are some important things to know about how recharge and food are connected:

  • Recharge gives you energy to think about your food choices...and to make a nutritious choice.
  • Green-light food choices give you the best energy to move and think.  

This activity is a version of tag where red-light foods try to get into the green-light foods' cupboard. The goal of the activity is keep the red-light foods from getting inside the "cupboard" and stealing the object (e.g., cone). 

Do The Activity

Activity Instructions

Diagram showing activity area set up for Food in the Cupboard

  1. All players draw a Food Activity Card. Those that draw a green-light card put on a mesh jersey or alternative identifier (e.g., tape, armband).
  2. Two horizontal lines are formed at opposite ends of the activity space.Those with green-light cards form one line, and those with red-light cards form another. Players in each line stand at least an arm's distance away from one another.
  3. An object is placed behind the green-light team.
  4. Shout, "Food in the Cupboard!"
  5. Players from the red-light team try to capture the object behind the green-light team.
  6. Players from the green-light team try to tag players from the red-light team. If a red-light team member is tagged, they stop and march in place until the object is captured or leader shouts, "Stop!" (Because all have been tagged.)
  7. If the object is captured and time allows, redistribute cards and repeat activity.

Wrap Up


Partner with a friend and fill in the blanks: 

  • I use to think _____________, but now I know  _____________.

Answers will vary. Encourage kids to talk about what they have learned at fitClub. The "now I know" section can include:

  • It's important to recharge to have energy to think about your food choices before you make a choice.
  • Recharge gives you energy to think about your food choices...and to make a healthy choice.
  • Green-light (nutritious) food choices give you the best energy to move and think. 

Talk with your family about nutritious food choices for mealtime and snacks.

Time: 10 Minutes

What You'll Need


  • Mesh Vests
  • Cones or Place Markers
  • Timer

Helpful Tips
  • If located in a small space, crab walk or bear crawl across the activity space. 
  • If your group consists of a smaller number of kids, reduce the number of “healthy food” taggers.  
  • Call out different skills for the frozen kids to complete instead of marching in place.
  • If no mesh vests are available, use tape or another identifier for taggers.
  • Use pool noodles or other soft object for tagging.
  • Help students understand food options by downloading the Eat More, Eat Some, and Eat Less Food Chart.

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