Food Scramble

Kids use a green, yellow, and red stoplight as a tool to help them choose foods and beverages that give them the most nutrition and energy to move and play.

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 use a stoplight as a tool to help them choose nutritious foods and beverages for energy to move and play.


  • Identify "food" as fuel for your body and brain.
  • Recognize that food provides energy for physical activity.
  • Recognize that green-light foods provide the most nutrition to fuel your body for energy to be active.


  • 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 groups of 3-4. See diagram for cone placement in activity area. Place 3-4 Move Activity Cards under each cone. Place all of the Food Activity Cards in the middle of the activity space. The text color for each food word indicates whether the food is a green-light food, yellow-light food, or a red-light food.
  • Wrap Up: Kids sit in a circle for discussion.

Talk Time


Q: Did you know that a tomato is a fruit?
A: Tomatoes are fruits because they have seeds on the inside! What other foods can you name with seeds on the inside?

Here are some important things to know about the connection between food and move:

  • Food gives your body fuel to move throughout your day.
  • Think your food. Then make fit food and beverage choices to give your body the fuel it needs to be active and move throughout your day.
  • Choose green-light foods.

This activity will help you learn more about nutritious foods that give you energy to move. 

Do The Activity

Activity Instructions

Set up activity of activity area for Move Scramble game

  1. Divide kids into small groups (3-4 kids per group). Assign each group a starting position (see diagram).
  2. The first player runs along the outside of the activity area to a cone and grabs a Move Activity Card
  3. The player then runs to the center of the activity area to grab a Food Activity Card and returns to their group.  
  4. Once the player is back to the group, the group looks at the cards to determine what speed they will be doing the movement from the Move Activity Card.
  • Green-light foods: high speed
  • Yellow-light foods: normal speed
  • Red-light foods: slow motion
  1. Complete the move for the indicated amount of time or repetitions. 
  2. The next player in line runs to get the Move and Food Activity Cards
  3. Continue this process until all Move Activity Cards have been collected. 
  4. After all Activity Cards have been collected, each group may add up the points for their collected cards:
  • Red-Light Food = 1 point
  • Yellow-Light Food = 2 points
  • Green-Light Food = 3 points
  • Move Activity Card = 3 points
  1. Repeat the activity so each team has the opportunity to improve their score from the first round.
  2. Once activity is completed, ask kids to form a circle and march in place (or another leader-selected movement) for the Wrap Up.

Wrap Up


Q: What foods have the most nutritional power and give your body the most energy to move?”
A: Answers will vary. Any green-light food is correct. Remind kids to choose to eat more green-light foods to fuel their moves! 


When you are hungry for a snack, switch those potato chips or cupcakes to veggies or fruits to give you energy to move!

Time: 10 Minutes

What You'll Need


  • Cones or Place Markers
  • Timer

Helpful Tips
  • If using a smaller space, choose different motor skills to do across the activity space such as bear crawl, crab walk, and inch worm. 
  • Modify the activity with basketballs  and basketball hoops:
    • Dribble the ball to a cone and shoot from that cone.
    • Once the player makes a shot, grab a Move Activity Card from under the cone.
    • If, after 3 attempts, a shot is not made, pick up a Move Activity Card from under the cone.
    • Dribble the ball to the middle of the activity space and pick up a Food Activity Card.
    • Continue to dribble the ball and make your way back to your group with your Move and Food Activity Cards.
    • Continue the activity as described. 

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