Capture the Sugar

Kids learn to recharge their energy by tracking sleep hours and learning to relax throughout the day instead of drinking sugary beverages and energy drinks.

Adult leader sitting on the floor talking with kids
Child relaxing while reading outside on a bench.
Group of kids getting ready to play a game outside
Diverse group of kids doing leg stretches with an adult leader
Group of kids running outside on a grassy field
group of kids stretching while sitting cross-legged on a gym floor

Activity Purpose

Kids learn to recharge their energy by getting enough sleep and relaxing throughout the day as opposed to drinking sugary beverages and energy drinks.


  • Recognize that moving or a recharge activity is a better choice than drinking an energy drink to get energy.
  • 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: Divide kids into 2 teams. One team will have an identifier, such as a mesh vest. Teams stand on opposite sides of the activity area. Food Activity Cards are placed in the center of the activity area.
  • Wrap Up: Kids sit in a circle for discussion.

Talk Time


Q: Did you know that 1 can of soda can have as many as 10 teaspoons of sugar in it?
A: Nutrition experts recommend that kids limit their added sugar to 6 teaspoons or less per day. A can of soda has more added sugar than your body needs in a day! And, by the way, that's more (in the soda) than the amount of sugar in 2 scoops of ice cream! 

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

  • When your energy is low it can be difficult to make nutritious food choices. 
  • Foods high in sugar, like candy and soda...or any red-light food, do not pack the nutritional power that green-light foods do. If you really are hungry, choose a green-light food.
  • There are many ways to recharge, and drinking an energy drink is not one of them! Energy drinks can be high in sugar and do not provide long-lasting energy that you can get from making fit choices. Better choices include water, water flavored with real fruit, or milk.

This activity will help you learn about what foods give you the best fuel for your day. The activity is similar to “capture the flag” except you are capturing Food Activity Cards. 

Do The Activity

Activity Instructions

 How to set up activity area for Capture the Food game

  1. Divide the kids into 2 teams and provide a way for the 2 teams to be easily identified such as mesh vests. Each team will start on opposite ends of the activity space, (see activity diagram).
  2. Place Food Activity Cards in the center of the space.
  3. Set a timer for 5-6 minutes.
  4. Shout, “Go!”
  5. Kids begin to run to the center of the activity space to capture the cards, 1 at a time.
  6. When all the cards have been captured from the center of the space, shout, “Stop!”
  7. Each team will go back to their starting positions and shout, “Capture the Food!”
  8. Kids now begin to run into the other team’s territory and attempt to steal the other team’s cards.
    • If a kid is tagged in the other team’s territory, they go to Recharge Island.
      • If the kid is also holding a card when tagged, the card stays in that territory.
      • Participant can leave Recharge Island by telling the fitClub leader a healthy way to recharge during the day.
  9. Repeat activity. Compare the number of green-light Food Activity Cards each team gets to see if they improved their score from the first round.

Wrap Up


Q: I decided to drink an energy drink because I felt tired and wanted to recharge. Am I making a healthy choice? Show a thumbs up for yes, and a thumbs down for no.
A: Thumbs down! Drinking an energy drink, or eating anything with a lot of sugar (red-light foods), will not recharge your energy. If you are thirsty, drink some water. If you really are hungry, choose a green-light food, then do a recharge activity.


Being thirsty is your body's way of asking for water. Track how many times you feel thirsty in a day and how many ounces of water you drink.

Time: 10 Minutes

What You'll Need


  • Cones or Place Markers
  • Tape
  • Timer
  • Mesh Vests

Helpful Tips
  • If located in a small space, crab walk or bear crawl across the activity space.
  • Use pool noodle or other soft object for tagging.

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