Mood Freeze Tag

Help kids pay attention to hunger cues and recognize that their feelings, emotions, and moods influence all kinds of choices, including what they want to eat.

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

Kids learn to recognize that their feelings, emotions, and moods influence all kinds of choices, including what they want to eat.


  • Recognize that your mood can influence your food and beverage choices.
  • Give examples of healthy choices you can make when you recognize your mood.
  • Recognize the difference between hunger cues and mood (feelings or emotions) when making choices.


  • Talk Time: Kids sit and stretch or stand and march in place. Be sure they are a safe distance (arm’s length) apart.
  • Activity: Designate boundaries within your activity area by using cones. Have Mood Activity Cards available.
  • Wrap Up: Kids sit in a circle for discussion.

Talk Time


Some people might think it's crazy to talk to yourself, but I do it all the time! I think of it as using my superpower. People who think it's crazy just don't know about their superpower!

Let's talk about using your superpower—your power to decide to motivate your mood and talk yourself into making fit choices! It's also called self-talk, for example:

  • Instead of saying to yourself, "I can't" jump in the air and touch my toes," use self-talk and say, "With practice, I will get better at jumping."
  • Instead of saying to yourself, "I'm not good at math," use self-talk and say, "Mistakes help me to get better at math."
  • Instead of saying to yourself, "I don't eat broccoli," use self-talk and say, "I will taste the broccoli." 

Another time to use your self-talk superpower is when you are making food choices. You might be grabbing a red-light food when you are bored instead of making a healthy choice. Our next activity will give you practice in thinking about your mood and making nutritious food choices.

Do The Activity

Activity Instructions

Set up activity area for Mood Freeze Tag

  1. Assign 2 kids to be “freezers” and give each an identifier to put on (e.g., mesh jersey, ribbon, etc.). 
  2. Give each “freezer” a stack of Mood Activity Cards. Freezers will tag kids, then give them a card.
  3. Assign 1 kid to be the “unfreezer” and give a different color of identifier to put on. The unfreezer collects the cards from the frozen kids as they "unfreeze" them.
  4. When a kid is tagged by a “freezer,” they must stop and freeze. The "freezer" gives them a Mood Activity Card while shouting the feeling or emotion word on the card. 
  5. When a kid is set free by an "unfreezer," they give them their card while the unfreezer shouts, "Motivate your mood!"
  6. The newly unfrozen kids run and dodge the freezers to avoid getting caught again. 
  7. Begin play, shout "GO!"
  8. Play for 30-60 seconds, then leader shouts, "STOP!"
  9. All kids stop, freeze in place, and shout "Don't feed your mood, motivate it."
  10. Choose 2 new “freezers” and 1 new “unfreezer” and repeat activity as time allows.

Wrap Up


Q: It is Saturday afternoon and you are feeling bored. You walk into the kitchen to grab food but then you remember to check your mood. What do you do next?
A: If you are hungry, choose a green-light food. If you are bored, tell yourself "I will" and make a fit choice (e.g., do a mindful activity, talk with a friend, turn off the screen and get active, play outside, etc.).


The next time you are looking for a snack, think about how you feel:

  • Are you really hungry? Eat a nutritious snack between meals.
  • Are you bored? Do something to recharge your energy or do a movement activity.

Time: 5 Minutes

What You'll Need


  • Cones or Place Markers
  • Timer
  • Mesh Vests

Helpful Tips
  • The number of “freezers” and “unfreezers” may depend on the size of your group. 
    • More than 15 kids = 2 “freezers” and 1 “unfreezer” 
    • Less than 15 kids = 1 “freezer” and 1 “unfreezer” 
  • Use pool noodles or other soft object for tagging.

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