fitCLUB

Know Your Portions

Introduce kids to serving and portion sizes for food and beverages. They will learn to use their hands as a portion guide just right for their body size.

Adult leader explaining how to play a game to a group of kids
Kids doing exercises together in a classroom
kids sitting on the grass and playing a game
girl doing exercises in gym
Adult leader helping kids learn game outside
group of kids exercising on grassy field

Activity Purpose

This activity introduces kids to serving sizes and portion sizes for food and beverages. They will learn to use their hands as a portion guide for their body size.

Objectives

  • Identify "food" as fuel for your body and brain. It gives you energy to move.
  • 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).
  • Use hands, fingers, and common items as a reference for single portion sizes of foods.  
  • Identify a portion as the right amount of food for your body.

Preparation

  • Talk Time: Kids sit and stretch or stand and march in place. Be sure they are a safe distance (arm’s length) apart.
  • Activity: Print copies of What is a Portion Size? for each club member. Scatter the Portion Match Activity Cards throughout the activity space.
  • Wrap Up: Kids partner with someone sitting near them for discussion.

Talk Time

Introduction

Q: Did you know that dehydration (not drinking enough water) can make it hard to focus?
A: Next time you need an energy boost, try drinking a glass of water. 

We've talked about how food is fuel and gives you energy to move, and how reading a label can help you to make nutritious food choices. Now we are going to talk about the difference between a serving size and a portion size.

A serving is a measured amount used to identify the calories and nutrients that are in a food. A serving size can be 1 slice of bread, a 6-inch tortilla, or 1 cup of milk. A portion is the right amount of food for your body—not too much and not too little. No two bodies are exactly the same, so not every portion size is the same. Look at What is a Portion Size? to see how you can use your hand to help you decide portion sizes for your body...now and as you grow. 

This activity is a matching game. You will match different foods to different hand shapes to help you learn how to choose healthy portions for your body.

Do The Activity

Activity Instructions
  1. Place Portion Match Activity Cards throughout the entire activity space.
  2. Shout, "GO!"
  3. Players run to grab 1 card.
  4. Once every player has a card all kids will scramble to find another player with a matching card.
  5. When 2 players find matching cards, they freeze in place.
  6. Shout, "Stop" to end the activity.
    • Players stay frozen if a match is found.
    • If no match was made, the player raises their hand and walks in place.
  7. Leader helps remaining players find their matches if available.
    • Not every player will be able to make a match if there is not an even number playing.
    • Pick up the remaining cards and distribute to players with out a match.
  8. All players share matches with the group.

Wrap Up

Reflections

Turn and talk with your partner (from the matching activity just completed).

Q: What do I mean when I say, "A portion is the right amount of food for your body"?
A: A portion is the right amount of food for your body--not too much and not too little. Not every body is the same size, so not every portion size is the same. You can use your hand to help you decide the portion sizes for your body now and as you grow. 

Challenge

Think about your hands. Compare your hands and your portions with those of a family member. Why do you think their portions are bigger or smaller?

Time: 10 Minutes

What You'll Need

Resources

Materials
  • Timer

Helpful Tips
If equipment is available, utilize scooters or dribble basketballs while scrambling to find the Portion Match Activity Cards.

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