Fuel Tag

Play a tag game to spotlight nutritious food and drink choices and promote healthy eating.

Students running in gym game - Sanford fit

Key Message

Nutritious food choices give your body and brain fuel to move and think!


  1. Identify nutritious fruits, vegetables, grains, protein foods, dairy, and water food and drink choices.
  2. Explain that nutritious food choices give your body fuel to move and think.
  3. Apply a variety of motor skills and movement patterns to game play.


  • Safety: Allow enough space to move freely and minimize collisions. Determine boundaries that are a safe distance from obstacles and walls.
  • Determine how you will group learners, using best practice guidelines from the Teacher's Guide.
  • Be prepared to demonstrate fitBoost activity and fitFlow yoga.

Warm Up

Begin with a fitBoost.



Say: Show your choice for each “Would you rather?” question.

  1. Would you rather eat a carrot or an apple? Do squats for picking carrots or jump high as if picking an apple from a tree branch, for apple.

  2. Would you rather have a lot of energy and move as fast as a cheetah or little energy and move slow as a snail?  Run in place at a fast pace for the cheetah or in slow motion for the snail.

  3.  If you were a rocket, would you want your fuel to give you a powerful blastoff or a weak blastoff? Stand and flex your arms for a powerful blastoff or stand and slump over for a weak blastoff.


Did you know that when you eat and drink, you are fueling your body and your brain?

Think of your body as a race car or a rocket. If you fill up with weak fuel, like junk food and sugary beverages, you just sputter along. However, if you choose strong fuel, like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, protein, milk, and water, you will have great energy.

The number one thing you need to know is that nutritious food choices are the best kinds of fuel for your body!

Today’s activity will help you learn about the food and beverage choices that are the best fuel for your body.


Activity area set up

  1. Demonstrate and rehearse the predetermined locomotor skills for each round of the activity.

  2. Provide cue reminders for correct performance of the skill. Be prepared to change the locomotor movement when new taggers are selected.

  3. Review safety considerations for the activity. Remind learners about boundaries and the personal space of others.

  4. Select three or more volunteers to be taggers. Taggers represent foods with low nutritional value. While handing out the foam balls or noodles, designate the tagger as soda, donuts, chips, and/or candy.

  5. Taggers stand in middle of play area with a foam ball or pool noodle. Players stand at the start line  and try to cross to other side without being tagged.

  6. To begin play, announce a locomotor movement for players to use as they attempt to cross from one side of the activity area to the other, without being tagged.

  7. If tagged, the player goes to the garden to make a nutritious food choice, then returns to the starting point.

     • Carrots: Do 10 squats to dig carrots.
     • Spinach: Do 10 push-ups to pick spinach leaves.
     • Apples: Jump as high as you can to pick 10 apples.
     • Water: Do 10 jumps with a jump rope (garden hose!) or jump back and forth over the jump rope.

  8. When a player reaches the other side, they go down the fit sideline path and return to start. They may go as fast or slowly as they like down the path as long as they keep moving forward. Encourage players to make a mental note of how many times they cross the play area and go down the fit sideline path.

  9. After three to four minutes of play, assign new taggers. Challenge participants to beat their individual scores (successful number of times they pass the taggers) each round.

Close the Lesson

  1. Partner learners.

  2. Select a fitFlow card and complete the poses.

  3. While stretching, discuss nutritious food (and beverage) choices for snacks and meals. What are the learners’ favorite nutritious foods?

  4. Assess understanding with the following questions:

    Q: What do nutritious food choices do for your body?
    A: Nutritious food choices give you the best nutrition and energy to go, grow, and know!

    Q: Name some nutritious food choices.
    A: Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, protein, milk, and water.

    Q: How would you explain nutritious food choices to a family member?
    A: fit food choices give you the best nutrition and energy to go, grow, and know. Choices include fruits, vegetables, whole grain, protein, milk, and water.

    Q: Name some nutritious food choices you will make at lunch. For a snack? Meals at home?
    A: Fruits, vegetables, whole grain, protein, milk, and water.

  5. Use the Assessment Rubric (see Teacher's Guide) as a checklist to assess understanding, skill development, and personal responsibility.


What is a nutritious food choice you will make after school today?

What You'll Need

Health Education Standards

  • Standard 1: Core concepts-Promoting healthy eating
  • Standard 3: Access information
  • Standard 5: Decision-making
  • Standard 8: Advocate for health

Social and Emotional Learning Competencies

  • Responsible decision-making

Physical Education Standards

  • Standard 1: Motor skills and movement patterns
  • Standard 2: Movement and performance skills and tactics
  • Standard 3: Health-enhancing physical fitness
  • Standard 4: Responsible personal and social behavior

Extend the Lesson

  • The fit unit, Food Is a Kid's Fuel, provides multimedia lessons, activities, and challenges to help learners recognize nutritious food choices.
  • Watch fit Quiz: Food to build awareness of healthy eating choices.
  • Learners can identify healthy food choices using the Healthy Food Coloring Sheets.
  • Learn what different foods from different food groups do for your body with the Food is Fuel video series.
  • Demonstrate the nutritional power of various foods. Place different foods in water, if they stay together, they usually are a nutritious food choice. Foods that do not maintain their shape are often processed foods and may not have as much nutritional power.

Adaptations and Modifications

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