Food and Mood Relay

Teach kids several healthy eating tips that help them learn how feelings, emotions, and mood can make them want to grab food when they aren't really hungry.

Group of kids standing outdoors and eating oranges
smiling kids standing in a circle
group of kids running a relay in a gym
kids running around cones in a gym
kids playing a game in a gym while adult watches
girl stretching and touching her toes in a gym

Activity Purpose

This activity gives kids healthy eating tips and helps them learn that feelings, emotions, and moods can influence their eating choices.


  • Recognize the difference between hunger cues and mood (feelings and emotions) when making choices.
  • Give examples of nutritious green-light 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: Divide kids into groups of 3 to 4. Place 2 cones opposite of the start line. For each group, place 4 Mood Activity Cards face down behind the first cone and 4 Food Activity Cards face down behind the second cone. 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: Would you rather choose an apple with nut butter or carrots with hummus as an afternoon snack?
A: Both of these options are green-light foods that give your body great nutrition and energy to make lots of fit choices!

Here are some fit tips to help you understand how food and mood are connected:

  • Your mood can influence why and how much you eat.
  • Check your mood, don't let it trick you into eating when you are not hungry.
  • When you have a snack, like crackers, pretzels, or chips, use a bowl or small plate instead of eating out of the box or bag. Better yet, just take a handful! 

Our next activity is played like a relay and will help you learn about how your mood affects your food choices.

Do The Activity

Activity Instructions

Setup of activity area for fitClub Food and Mood Relay game

  1. Split the kids in 2 lines facing the cones.
  2. Say to kids, "This activity is played like a relay and will help you learn about how your mood affects your food choices. When waiting in line for your turn, march in place. Shout, “Go!” 
  3. Kids at the front of each line runs to get  either a Mood Activity Card or a Food Activity Card that is next to the cones in front of each line.
  4. Kids run back to their line, slap the hand of the next participant in line, and go to the back of the opposite team’s line. 
  5. Kids hold on to their cards while they move forward in their new line. When they are at the front of their new line, they run to the cone an pick up another card. If they are holding a Mood Activity Card, they should be picking a Food Activity Card on their second turn and vice versa.
  6. When all kids have both Activity Cards shout, “Stop!”
  7. Call on kids and talk about what is on the Mood and Food Activity Cards. Ask them to look at their mood card and ask, "What is your feeling?"
    • Would feeling _________ (name of feeling on mood card) make you want to eat the food shown on your card?
    • Encourage discussion about how feelings, emotions, and moods can make you want to eat when you are really not hungry. Thinking about your mood will help you make better choices.
    • Lead participants in saying, “Don’t let your mood choose your food!”
  8. If time allows, repeat activity.

Wrap Up


Q: You stop and think, and yes, you really are hungry (you are not eating because you are bored, mad, frustrated, etc.). You decide to eat some popcorn for a snack. What can you do to know how much to eat?
A: Eat out of a bowl, not a bag or a box!


Next time you grab a bag of snack food, put your portion in a small bowl or on a small plate.

Time: 5 Minutes

What You'll Need


  • Timer
  • Cones or Place Markers

Helpful Tips
  • If located in a small space, crab walk or bear crawl across the activity space.

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