fitCLUB

Food Brainstorm Race

Teach kids that food is fuel for their bodies and brains. This activity gets kids practicing making nutritious food choices to give them healthy habits.

Kids listening to an adult giving them exercise tips
Group of kids writing ideas on paper
Kids running and playing outside
Kids doing exercises in gym
Group of kids playing a game on a grassy field
Group of kids doing mindful breathing while sitting with legs crossed

Activity Purpose

This brainstorm activity helps kids understand that food is fuel for their body and brain. They will learn tips to help themselves make nutritious food choices.

Objectives

  • Recall that food is fuel for your body and brain.
  • Use a stoplight as a tool to make nutritious food and beverage choices: green-light (eat more), yellow-light (eat some), and red-light (eat less).

Preparation

  • Talk Time: Kids sit and stretch or stand and march in place. Be sure they are a safe distance (arm’s length) apart.
  • Activity: Divide kids into small groups of 3-4. Distribute a marker or pencil and a piece of blank paper to each group.
  • Wrap Up: Kids sit in a circle for discussion.

Talk Time

Introduction

Q: Do you know Roy G. Biv?
A: It's not a person, but an acronym to remember the colors of a rainbow: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo (dark blue), and violet (purple)!

Q: Can you think of a green-light food for each color of the rainbow?
A: Examples: red apple or tomato, orange tangerine or sweet potato, yellow pineapple or pepper, green kiwi or broccoli, blue blueberries or potatoes (Yes, there is a such thing as a blue potato!) indigo blackberries or eggplant, violet grapes or cabbage. Thinking of a rainbow when you make food choices also helps you to eat a variety of foods, which means you are getting a variety of nutrients!

Here are some important things to know about food choices:

  • Food is fuel for your body and brain.
  • You can use a stoplight to help yourself make healthy food and beverage choices.
    • Green-light foods are best! They have the most nutrients for energy and growth and can be eaten anytime. Green-light foods are great fuel for your body and brain, so eat them often!
    • Yellow-light foods do not keep you fueled-up the way green-light foods do. They have more fat, added sugar, and/or calories than green-light foods. Eat yellow-light foods sometimes, but not for every meal.
    • Red-light foods have the lowest nutritional value. Stop and think about your choice and eat the red-light foods least often.

Let's do a Brainstorm Race! Take a moment right now to think about what it means to "think your food." (Pause for 30 seconds to allow time for kids to think about their responses before continuing with the activity.)

Do The Activity

Activity Instructions
  1. Divide kids into small groups (3-4 kids per group). Each group picks a person to write.
  2. Give each group 1 piece of paper and a pencil or marker.
  3. Set a timer for 1 minute.
  4. Leader asks "What do you think it means to think your food?" then starts the timer.
  5. Each group brainstorms together and writes their ideas on paper.
  6. After 1 minute, leader asks each group to share their brainstorm thoughts about what they believe "think your food" means.
  7. Leader explains:
  • Food is fuel for your body and brain. 
  • Food is what you eat and drink to give your body energy to move and your brain energy to think. 
  • Think your food. Throughout fitClub, we will use a stoplight as a tool to help you choose what to eat and drink.
    • Green-light foods are “Eat More” foods—eat more often because these foods are packed with nutrients. Green-light foods are great fuel for your body.
    • Yellow-light foods are “Eat Some” foods—eat sometimes. Yellow-light foods do not provide as many nutrients as green-light foods do.
    • Red-light foods are “Eat Less” foods—eat less often. Red-light foods have fewer nutrients than green-light or yellow-light foods.

Wrap Up

Reflections

Q: It's been a long day, and you feel like grabbing a bag of chips and watching videos when you get home. What is a healthier choice?
A: Decide to motivate your mood. Get up and move! Stand up, hop, skip, jump, play a game, exercise, play outside, take a walk, or dance instead of eating when you are really not hungry.

Q: The next time you reach for that candy bar or a can of soda, what should you ask yourself?
A: Guide kids to apply the stoplight tool and use self-talk. For example:

  • "Is this the best fuel for my body and brain?"
  • "What green-light food choice can I make right now?"

Let kids know that they can use the fit Food Chart to help them with food choices.

Challenge

Looking for something to eat in the fridge? Make a fit food choice and choose a green-light food.

Time: 5 Minutes

What You'll Need

Resources

Materials
  • Blank Paper
  • Markers or Pencils
  • Timer
  • Optional-Pad of Sticky Notes

Helpful Tips
  • Instead of being in small groups, create a large poster with "food" written in the center. Kids write their brainstorm ideas randomly across the poster. Consider hanging the poster up to serve as a reminder.
  • Modify activity to be a Sticky-Note Storm! Everyone gets one sticky note. Set the timer for 2 minutes and have kids write down what they they think "think your food" means in the time allotted. Then, they share their ideas with each other.


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