Sugar Land

Teams work together to tip or stand up cones that represent nutritious food choices without added sugar.

Boy playing game and standing a cone up

Key Message

Think your food! Choose fruits, vegetables, protein, whole grain, and milk without added sugar for meals and snacks. And don't forget, it's important to drink plenty of water!


  1. Distinguish green-light foods and beverages (i.e. foods and beverages with no sugar or only natural sugars) from red-light foods and beverages (i.e., foods and beverages with added sugar).
  2. Identify fruits, vegetables, protein foods, whole grains, milk, and water as nutritious food choices
  3. Apply a variety of motor skills and movement patterns to game play.


  • Safety: Use cones or place markers to section off 4 activity areas that are a safe distance from obstacles and walls.
  • Ensure equipment and materials are properly cleaned.
  • Determine how you will group learners, using best practice guidelines (see fitGames Teacher's Guide).
  • Divide learners into 2 groups. You may want to have 3 or more groups if you have more than 20 students. 
  • Half of each group will be Sugar Bugs; the other half will be fit Friends. Players trade roles mid-way through the game.
  • Be prepared to demonstrate fitBoost activity and fitFlow yoga.

Warm Up

Begin with a fitBoost.



Say: Show me what you know about making healthy choices!

  1. If you are thirsty, is the healthier choice water or juice? Raise your arms high for water or fold your arms across your chest for juice.

  2. You just got home from school, and you're hungry for a snack. Is the healthier choice a cupcake or a banana? Do arm circles for the cupcake or move your arms as if running for the banana.

  3. It's time for breakfast and you have a choice between oatmeal with fruit or a doughnut. Flex your muscles for oatmeal with fruit or move loose like a noodle for the doughnut.


Food is your body’s fuel! When you make nutritious food choices, your body gets energy to move and think. You just made choices between foods and beverages with and without added sugar. The most nutritious choices—foods that are the best fuel for your body—are foods without added sugar.

You can use a stoplight to help make great choices for your meals and snacks.

Green means go! Green-light foods usually do not have sugar added to them. They give you energy to go, grow, and know. Fruits, vegetables, protein, whole grains, milk, and water are always a fit choice.

Yellow means slow down! Yellow-light foods do not keep you fueled-up because they don't have as much nutrition as green-light foods. They usually contain added sugar. Eat yellow-light foods sometimes, but not for every meal. Examples: dried fruit, veggies with sauces, flavored yogurt, granola bars, and juice.

Red means stop! Foods and beverages such as juice drinks, cupcakes, candy, and donuts have extra sugar added to them. They fill you up without giving you the nutrition your body needs. It's okay to have a red-light treat once in a while, but green-light foods and drinks are always best for your body.

The number one thing you need to know is that there are a lot of delicious and nutritious choices you can make for your meals and snacks.

Today we are going to focus on green-light and red-light food and drink choices while we play a game called Sugar Land. We will learn to classify snacks and drinks as green-light and red-light foods.




  1. Show food cards, one-by-one, to kids, and ask them whether they think there is added sugar to the food or drink. Separate these cards from the deck, tell kids that they are for the Sugar Bugs (sports drinks, candy, cake, donuts, desserts, soda pop, fruit drinks, lollipops, muffins, pie). Foods without added sugar are for the fit Friends.

  2. Explain that Sugar Bugs and fit Friends live in Sugar Land. The Sugar Bugs always try to keep the fit Friends from making nutritious food and beverage choices.

  3. Divide learners into small groups. Half of the members of each group will be Sugar Bugs, and the other half will be fit Friends. You may want to have kids wear mesh vests as identifiers.

  4. A standing cone represents fit choices, and a tipped cone represents sugary foods. The goal of the game is for the fit Friends to keep the cones standing while the Sugar Bugs try to tip them over.

  5. Identify a locomotor movement. Sugar Bugs move to turn over the cones while the fit Friends work to keep the cones standing. Learners with limited mobility may opt to use a short pool noodle to knock over cones.

  6. Play the game for 3-4 minutes, then reverse roles—Sugar Bugs become fit Friends and fit Friends become Sugar Bugs.

  7. Vary the locomotor movements for each round to represent healthy choices:
    • Skipping—Skip the sugar.
    • Fast, slow, and steady movements—Explain that sugar gives you energy, but more sugar does not give you more energy, it’s the opposite! It's like running fast then slow rather than a steady pace. Sugar Bugs move fast then slow while fit Friends move at a steady pace.

Close the Lesson

  1. Partner learners.

  2. Do fitFlow yoga sets: Select a fitFlow card and complete the poses.

  3. While stretching, discuss green-light food and drink choices for meals and snacks. What are the learners’ favorite green-light foods?

  4. Assess whether learners can distinguish green-light foods from other food choices.

  5. Assess understanding with the following questions:

    Q: How does the food you eat affect your body and brain?
    A: Green-light food choices give your body nutritious fuel to go, grow, and know.

    Q: What are some of your favorite green-light foods?
    Name specific fruits, vegetables, proteins, whole grains, milk, or water.

    Q: How would you explain the difference between green-light and red-light foods to a friend?
    Green-light foods give you the best nutrition to go, grow, and know. Red-light foods can have added sugar and less nutrition than green-light foods.

    Q: Which green-light foods will you choose at breakfast, lunch, snack, or your evening meal?
    Name specific fruits, vegetables, proteins, whole grains, milk, or water.

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


What will be your next green-light snack choice?

What will be your next green-light snack choice?

What You'll Need

Health Education Standards

  • Standard 1: Core Concepts-Limit foods and beverages high in added sugar.
  • Standard 7: Practice health-enhancing behaviors
  • Standard 8: Advocate for health

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

  • Show kids the nutrition label on actual food packages and drink containers to help them understand where to look for the added sugar amounts. There are about 4 grams of sugar in a teaspoon.
  • For grades 4 and 5, use the fitClub Food Activity Cards for the game. These food cards include healthy eating tips and nutrition information.
  • Adapt locomotor skills and movement patterns to learners' needs, interests, and abilities.
  • Modify game setup so that all children can participate.
  • Play a fit Workout video for activity warm up and cool down.


Take me to the full list of fitGames.

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