Food Exchange


Name of Activity:

Food Exchange

Purpose of Activity:

Keep students active and engaged while teaching ‘healthy’ food choices.


Students will need to be familiar with the movements and cues involved for jogging, skipping and galloping.

Suggested Grade Level:


Materials Needed:

*Gym facility
*50 ‘healthy food’ plastic items(apples, bananas, oranges, grapes, pineapples and lemons)
*50 ‘unhealthy food’ plastic items (hamburgers, pizza, hot dogs, candy bars, chips),
*Different color hula-hoops (each group will use for storing your ‘healthy foods’)
*Music to indicate when to start and stop activity
*Cones to set boundaries

Description of Idea

Divide students into small groups. The objective is to work collectively to gather “healthy” foods; while passing the “unhealthy” foods. Each group is identified by the color of their hula-hoop. The hula-hoop is used as the groups’ “home”. The goal is for each group to put as many “healthy” foods into their “home” as possible. At the same time students attempt to move “unhealthy” foods to the other group’s hula hoop “home.”

Each sends out one member at a time from their “home” to collect, or get rid of food items. The students will all move in a locomotor movement assigned by the teacher before the start of the music. Music is designed to initiate the start of the activity and stop the activity at the end.

The students are working on various locomotor movements (jogging, galloping, skipping) to “collect” and/or “pass” foods to other groups.

Give students 2 minutes. You can also adjust time to meet the needs of your group.

All students receive a healthy heart sticker. This is the objective of the lesson. Everyone wins by being active!

Assessment Ideas:

Near the conclusion of class, all students will be called to the center of the gym floor and asked to identify ‘Healthy’ and ‘Unhealthy’ foods. If a student identifies a questionable food (i.e. a hamburger) give them the opportunity to defend (i.e. protein, etc)

Adaptations for Students with Disabilities:

For inclusion, make the playing area much smaller for the children with disabilities. Also,use peer partners, cue cards with pictures of foods they can identify as healthy/unhealthy foods. Use a longer time period. Use a time keeper and/or a score keeper.

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