MyPlate in Motion

Teams do a relay activity to identify MyPlate food groups..

Children congratulating one another after playing a game

Key Message

Nutritious food choices are your body’s best fuel to go, grow, and know!


  1. Identify fruits, vegetables, whole grains, protein foods, and dairy as MyPlate food choices.
  2. 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 pair learners, using best practice guidelines from the Teacher's Guide.
  • Spread 2 to 3 sets of food cards at one end of the activity area.
  • Be prepared to demonstrate fitBoost brain break activity and fitFlow yoga.

Warm Up

Begin with a fitBoost.



Say: I am going to read you a story. Your job is to listen carefully and do actions that go along with the story. I will pause for 15–30 seconds for each movement activity. (Actions are noted by capital letters.)

  1. Today we are going to take a trip to the grocery store. WALK IN PLACE.

  2. We will find foods to fill MyPlate. (Refer to MyPlate diagram.) Let’s get started. OPEN THE DOOR AND PICK A CART. HOLD HANDS OUT AS IF PUSHING A CART BACK AND FORTH.

  3. Let’s WALK to the produce section, where we will choose enough fruits and vegetables to fill half the plate.

  4. SQUAT DOWN to pick some potatoes, SQUAT DOWN again to pick some lettuce, carrots, and broccoli.

  5. Now PUSH YOUR CART to the fruit area and REACH FORWARD to pick some apples and place them in your cart. Hey, sliced apples and bananas sound great! Let’s PUSH OUR CARTS over to the bananas and REACH FORWARD to grab a bunch and place it in the cart.

  6. We have enough fruits and vegetables to fill half of the plate! Now let’s PUSH OUR CARTS to the meat section to decide what protein to choose. Beef, chicken, fish, eggs, or pork? STAND ON YOUR TOES and look around for chicken drumsticks! Now, PUSH YOUR CART to the meat counter and REACH FORWARD to pick out a package of chicken drumsticks.

  7. Our plate just has only one section left to fill—the grains section. How about some rice? Let’s PUSH OUR CARTS to the part of the store with rice. The rice is on the bottom shelf, so SQUAT DOWN and pick up a package to put in your cart.

  8. MyPlate is full! Are we ready to check out? STOP AND THINK (point finger to head), what else do we need? (Prompt dairy if needed.) Oh, let’s PUSH OUR CART AND WALK QUICKLY to the dairy section and REACH FORWARD to choose some milk.

  9. We now can fill our plates with healthy food choices! Let’s PUSH OUR CARTS to the front of the store and pay for our food.

  10. Now CARRY THE GROCERY BAGS while you WALK home. Enjoy your healthy choices!


MyPlate is a tool to help you make the best food choices. When you choose food for meals and snacks, think about MyPlate categories (fruits, vegetables, protein foods, whole grains, and dairy) and you can easily make great choices. And, don't forget about water! Water is always a good choice.

The number one thing you need to know is that choosing to use MyPlate to guide your food choices means that you will get great nutrition to go, grow, and know.

Today we are going to practice choosing MyPlate foods to make a delicious and healthy meal.


Activity area set up

  1. Each pair of learners will share a MyPlate diagram. The goal of the game is to select the foods to fill MyPlate.

  2. Food cards are scattered face down, opposite the paired learner teams.

  3. Teacher times the activity, allowing 1 to 3 minutes to complete the task.

  4. One partner hops (or a locomotor movement selected by the teacher) across the play area and picks a food card. They return to their partner and place the food card next to the appropriate food group on the MyPlate diagram. Partners say the food group aloud and high-five one another.

  5. The second partner repeats selecting a card, naming the food group, and high-five.

  6. Play continues until time is up or one pair has four food sections and dairy complete.

  7. Replace cards and repeat play, with partners rotating to a new set of cards. Challenge pairs to make a plan and set a goal to improve their time to complete the task.

Close the Lesson

  1. Partner learners.

  2. Select a fitFlow card and complete poses.

  3. While stretching, assess whether learners can identify the MyPlate food groups. Ask the following questions:

Q: What was our lesson about today?
A: MyPlate food groups: fruits, vegetables, proteins, whole grains, and dairy.

Q: What are some of your favorite fruits? Vegetables? Proteins? Whole grain foods? Dairy?
A: Name specific fruits, vegetables, proteins, whole grains, or dairy foods. Let them know water can be a favorite too!

Q: How would you explain MyPlate to a friend?
A: MyPlate is a tool to help you choose healthy food for your meals. It has sections for fruits, vegetables, proteins, whole grains, and dairy food groups.

Q: Which fruits will you choose at breakfast, lunch, snack, or your evening meal? Which vegetables? Proteins? Grains? Dairy?
A: Name specific fruits, vegetables, proteins, whole grains, and dairy.

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


Can you name all five MyPlate food groups?

What You'll Need

Health Education Standards

  • Standard 1: Core concepts-Moderate to vigorous physical activity
  • Standard 4: Interpersonal communication
  • Standard 5: Decision-making
  • Standard 7: Practice health-enhancing behaviors

Social and Emotional Learning Competencies

  • Responsible decision-making

Physical Education Standards

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

Extend the Lesson

Adaptations and Modifications

Related Content


Healthy Cooking: Tropical Fruit Salsa Recipe

Making your own salsa is a fun way to practice cooking as a family. Check out this zesty Tropical Fruit Salsa to spice up your picnics or parties!

Get Printable
Food, Mood, Move, Recharge

Do a fit-Check

Kids learn to pay attention to their energy level and mood, then do a fit-check to identify choices they can make.

Get Printable

Healthy Snacks Food Quiz

Do you know which foods are healthy snack choices? Test your knowledge by watching this video!

Watch Video

Healthy Cooking: Banana Berry Yogurt Parfait Recipe

Are you looking for a fun and healthy snack to help incorporate fruit into your child’s diet? Here is a great recipe to prepare with your child when you are craving a naturally sweet treat! 

Get Printable
Food, Move

STEM Activity: Kidney Coloring Sheets

These sheets show the different aspects of kidney function. Use them as-is or with the kidney science lesson.

Get Printable
Move, Food

fitSports: Passing

In this edition of the Sanford fitSports video series we'll see how adequate hydration, proper mechanics, and body movements are influential when passing the volleyball. To learn more about hydration in young athletes, check out the article: How Important is Hydration?.

Watch Video