Chain Food Tag

Help kids be aware of how advertisements are used to influence food and beverage choices, then empower them with decision-making skills for healthy eating.

Group of kids having a discussion with an adult leader
kids doing exercises in a gym with an adult leader
Group of kids listening to instructions from an adult leader
group of kids encouraging one another
Group of kids making a human chain in a gym
Kids doing exercises on a grassy field outside

Activity Purpose

This activity helps kids become aware that advertisements are used to influence food and beverage choices. 


  • Recognize that your mood (feelings and emotions) can influence your food and beverage choices throughout the day.
  • Recognize that advertisements are created to influence food and beverage choices.
  • Give examples of nutritious food choices you can make when you recognize your mood.


  • Talk Time: Kids sit and stretch or stand and march in place. Be sure they are a safe distance (arm’s length) apart.
  • Activity: Select 3 volunteers to be taggers. Taggers wear a mesh vest or alternate identifier. Have Food Activity Cards ready. The color of the food word's text 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 Vitamin D can help boost your mood, energy, and sleep?
A: You can get Vitamin D from the sun or foods like spinach, salmon, eggs, and cheese! 

Q: What stoplight color is spinach? Salmon? An egg? Cheese?
A: Green! Eat more!

Let's talk about the connection between mood and food:

  • All day long you make choices about when and what to eat or drink. 
  • Advertisements try to influence you to eat or drink what they are selling. They want you to want their products.
  • Many of the foods and drinks that advertisements tell you to buy are red-light foods. They are high in sugar and low in other nutrients.
  • Think about your food choices, remember green-light foods are best for your body and brain.

Imagine you just got home from school and want to grab a snack. You checked your mood and really are hungry. This activity will help you practice making green-light food choices in situations like thisinstead of  choosing something that was advertised on TV. 

Do The Activity

Activity Instructions
  1. Select 3 kids to be taggers. Provide taggers with a mesh jersey or alternative identifier.
  2. Give all remaining kids a Food Activity Card.
  3. The object of this activity is for the taggers to build a chain of green-light food choices. If the player tagged has a green-light food card, they stand behind the tagger and hold onto their waist. The next (green-light food card) player tagged holds the waist of the first player tagged, forming a human chain. No more than 4 kids can make a chain at a time (1 tagger and 3 green-light foods).
  4. If a player holding a yellow-light or red-light card is tagged, they freeze in place.
  5. Shout, "Go!" to begin game. When one of the taggers has formed a chain of 3 green-light foods, shout, "Stop!" and the kids call out the green-light food on their cards.
  6. The 3 kids that were part of the chain now become taggers.
  7. Collect, shuffle, and redistribute cards, then continue play until another chain of 3 green-light food cards is formed.
  8. Repeat gameplay for the allotted time.

Wrap Up


Q: Finish this sentence about advertisements:  I used to think _______, but now I know ________.

A: Kids respond with one of the following:

  • Advertisements try to influence you to eat or drink what they are selling. They want you to want their products.
  • Many of the foods and drinks that advertisements tell you to buy are red-light foods. They are high in sugar and low in other nutrients.
  • Think your food before you choose, and choose green-light foods.  

Make a menu of green-light snack food choices at home. Put the menu on the fridge to make it easy for you and your family to make nutritious snack food choices.

Time: 5 Minutes

What You'll Need


  • Mesh Vests
  • Timer

Helpful Tips
  • Use pool noodle or other soft object for tagging.

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