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Create Your Own Healthful Snack

Young people will understand how to use their knowledge of healthful eating to create a made-up healthful snack.

Ages

9-14 Years Old

Duration

60 Minutes

What You Need

Resources

Healthy Families Newsletter

English (pdf)

Spanish (pdf)

To find out how this lesson fits Physical Education and Health Education standards click here.

Lesson Overview

This lesson helps young people think of healthful snacks they can eat. In this two-day activity, youth will use their creativity to invent a healthful snack and market it to their peers.

Instructor Notes

Before facilitating this lesson, you may want to review the following information about snacks. These facts can be shared with young people during your discussions.

  • Kids often view snacks as a bag of chips, cookies or candy. In doing so, they are missing an opportunity to get much needed nutrients through planning ahead for a healthful snack choice.
  • Snacks should be part of a healthy diet that helps kids to refuel between meals and satisfy their hunger.
  • Their snack choices are often influenced by catchy names and marketing strategies geared toward kids.

Introduction

Display a variety of food packaging for the youth to review. Ask the kids to name some of their favorite snacks. Analyze the snacks they mention, as well as the ones on display, and decide as a group if they are healthful. Do they include the five food groups found on MyPlate? Are they high in sugar, fat or salt?

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Activity: Day 1

Tell the youth that they will be inventing their own made-up healthful snack. They will have the opportunity to use their creativity to invent a made-up healthful snack on paper. This will include naming their product, what it looks like and its packaging (including a nutrition facts label). They will decide the pricing and marketing/advertising strategy for their snack. They will then give a brief presentation/commercial promoting their product idea to their classmates.

Provide the youth background knowledge on inventing a healthful snack item. Remind them to consider factors that would make the item healthful or unhealthful. Encourage young people to think about MyPlate as they create their snacks. Does it have ingredients that are part of the five food groups (vegetables, fruits, grains, dairy, and protein)? Is it low in fat and added sugars and/or too much salt?

Feel free to share the following made-up snack ideas to help jump start their imaginations.

  • “Merry Cherry Salsa” – Salsa made from a variety of fruits instead of vegetables.
  • “Popping Corn” – Popcorn coated with something healthful and not butter.
  • “Apriana Bars” – Bar made with apricots and bananas.
  • “Blick” – Fruit smoothie drink named after Blake and Nick, “You’ll never get sick with Blick,” was their slogan.

Provide each young person or group with white poster board, blank nutrition facts label, scissors, colored paper, colored markers and/or pencils for drawing.

When their created snack item is complete it should include the following:

  • Attractive packaging
  • Ingredient list
  • Nutrition Facts label
  • Price
  • Marketing slogan and/or advertising campaign

Activity: Day 2

Have the young people present their healthful food product to the class.

Ask the following questions:

  • What is the name of your product?
  • How would you describe it – taste, texture?
  • Which of the food group(s) did you use?
  • Why do you consider it to be a healthful snack?
  • Describe the packaging you created for the product.
  • What are highlights from the Nutrition Facts label?
  • How much does your product cost?
  • What is your marketing pitch or slogan for the product?

Optional: Post creative healthful snack displays in the classroom or school cafeteria.

Conclusion

As a group, reflect back to the creative snacks that the youth invented. Remind young people that they can be creative with their snacks each day to make healthful eating more fun!

Continuing the Conversation

Hand out the Healthy Families Newsletter in English or Spanish, so that families can continue discussing healthful snack ideas at home.

Additional Instructor Resources

Are You a Smart Snacker? – (Russian) – (Somali) – (Spanish)
There Are Sneaky Sugars! – (Russian) – (Somali) – (Spanish)
What Kind of Sugar is in Your Food? – (Russian) – (Somali) – (Spanish)
ChooseMyPlate.gov
Make Your Calories Count

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