Lesson

How to Gamify Healthy Food Choices

Use a game to reinforce healthy food choices.

Objectives

  • Use the stoplight colors of green, yellow, and red as tools to categorize food choices as eat more, eat some, and eat less.

Lesson Plan

Introduce students to the idea that food is fuel for their bodies. “Food” refers to both what you eat and what you drink. The lessons in this unit use a stoplight as a tool to help students think about their food choices. Green-light foods are to be eaten more often than yellow-light or red-light foods:

  • Eat More: Green-light foods are best! They have the most nutrition for energy and growth and can be eaten anytime. Green-light foods are great fuel for your body and brain, so eat them often! Examples: fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meat, milk, and water.
  • Eat Some: Yellow-light foods do not keep you fueled-up the way green-light foods do. They have more fat, added sugar, and/or calories than green-light foods. Eat yellow-light foods sometimes, but not for every meal. Examples: dried fruit, veggies with sauces, flavored yogurt, granola bars, ground beef, and juice.
  • Eat Less: Red-light foods have the lowest nutritional value. Stop and think about your choice and eat the red-light foods least often. Examples: chips, candy, fried foods, cakes, donuts, and soda. 

It's important that kids understand that foods are not good or bad; however, there are foods that you want to eat more often for good health. For more information and about the nutritional benefits of foods and different food groups, read Food is Fuel

Set The Stage

Play a quick game of Red Light, Green Light or have kids explain how the game works. 

To use this with your students click here.

Captivate

Use Games to Teach Healthy Food Choices

Play a new version of Red Light, Green Light. Choose a game leader to toggle slides back and forth.

  1. When leader selects “green light” students march in place, lifting knees and arms high.
  2. “Yellow light” means move in slow motion.
  3. “Red light” means stop and stand still.
 

Educate

Think About Healthy Food Choices

Stoplights make a fun move game! They can also be used to help you think your food: 

  • Eat more green-light foods.
  • Eat some yellow-light foods. 
  • Eat less red-light foods.
Check for understanding: How will you use stoplight colors to think your food?

Activate

Home to School Connection for Healthy Food Choices

Print copies of the Eat More, Eat Some, Eat Less food chart for students to take home and post on their refrigerators. 

Encourage students to talk with an adult at home about healthy food choices.

Close the Lesson

Today we played a game that helped us think about healthy food choices. Next we will learn about healthy snacks. 

Grade: 3-5

Time: 20 Minutes

Health Education Standards

  • Standard 1: Core Concepts - Eat a variety of foods within each food group every day.
  • Standard 4: Interpersonal Communication 
  • Standard 5: Decision-Making
  • Standard 7: Practice Health-Enhancing Behaviors

Social and Emotional Learning Competencies

  • Self-Awareness
  • Self-Management
  • Responsible Decision-Making

Extend the Lesson

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