Lesson

How to Gamify Healthy Food Choices

Use a game to reinforce healthy food choices.

Objectives

  • Use the stoplight colors, 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. This week’s topic uses a stoplight as a tool to help students think their food and make healthy food choices.  There are no “good” foods or “bad” foods; 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.  

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.

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.

What You'll Need

Resources

Materials
  • Markers
  • Poster Board or White Board
  • Slideshow

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

Related Content

Food

Healthy Cooking: Corn Salsa Recipe

Prepare this family friendly Corn Salsa snack for a full serving of vegetables. Test out this recipe with cilantro, if it tastes like soap to you it may be because of your genetic makeup. If not, it is a zesty fresh pop of flavor!

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
Food

Healthy Cooking: Fall Season 4 Ingredient Pancakes Recipe

Fall flavors, like pumpkin and cinnamon, taste oh-so-good when the cool temps of Autumn roll around! Add variety to your breakfast routine with these 4 Ingredient Pancakes. 

Get Printable