Below is a helpful paper for students regarding games that will be helpful in learning about nutrition. Read the following paper to learn about two nutrition games that will help students learn to develop healthy eating habits. The links at the end of the paper will allow you access to the two different games.
Simulation or Game Paper
The first game that would be used for students would be Kevin’s build a meal game. This game goes along with the nutrition and food pyramid/plate lesson. After the students are introduced to the food plate, the food groups, how many servings are required, etc. this can be a game where they can put their knowledge to use. Students are the chef in this game. They first put in their gender, how old they are, and how active they are. This is all important information because each person and gender is different and needs different food intake. Once this is complete the time begins. Students can click on different options; breakfast, morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack, dinner. Once you click on one of these options kids are put into the kitchen and select from a number of foods what to eat. The foods are put into the colors of the pyramid and say how many servings and calories each item is. Once you have the meals complete, you can click the finish button. The results will come up of what areas you have satisfied and areas you need more of.
This would be a good game to challenge your students. They can put all their knowledge they have learned regarding the food plate to use. This is just like a real life situation. The students are required to develop a whole days worth of meals and satisfy their own required food intake. Students would be able to predict based on their knowledge what they need to keep their body healthy and energized. If they do not satisfy these requirements then they must go back and find the required fields and add more food. With the timer of the game you can see how well students complete the task in a certain amount of time. This game really compliments the material that is taught in the lesson. Students learn about the pyramid and then can apply it to an actual day of meal planning. You can have the students input a typical day of meals so they can see how much improvement they need in each food group area, or you can have them plan what they feel would be a healthy day’s worth of meals. The game is fun, interactive and is connected to everyday life and will do a great deal in enhancing the instruction of healthy eating habits.
The second game that would go with the food plate lesson would be the mypyramid blast off game. The students are a spaceship rocket. The goal for the game is to fuel your rocket ship with enough fuel to make it planet power. The fuel for the rocket is food. Students are required to enter their name, age and gender. The food groups are the meters at the bottom and the students must fill those meters. They also need at least 60 minutes of activity added in order for the spaceship to take off. If the rocket is fueled correctly with a day’s worth of food then the space ship will make it. If the spaceship is not fueled correctly then the spaceship will make it to planet power. Challenge the students with a certain time to complete the mission after a few practice rounds. Once the students are complete, have them print out their actual menu of food which they used to fuel the engine. Students can analyze their food choices and learn what foods are healthy for their body to be productive.
With this game simulation I would tell the students that their rocket ship is their bodies and planet power is their body’s productivity. Explain to the students that in order for their body to work at its best level, it must be properly fueled. If the rocket is their body and is not fueled properly it fails to reach planet power, (productivity). If it does reach planet power then their body is properly fueled and they will experience top productivity for the day. This game teaches students how to properly fuel their body with the proper fuel, the correct amount of servings, and the optimal amount of activity for their bodies to be healthy and productive. Just like the first game you can teach the students that this is just like a life situation planning healthy foods daily. Make the analogy that the rocket is their body and they must fuel it properly in order for it to be productive.
Conclusion: With these two games the students are able to see the importance of eating healthy meals with the rocket ship, and the importance of planning daily meals with the build a meal game. The rocket ship game shows the students what could happen to their body if they do not fuel their body with the proper foods and its proper number of servings. Both games also show the students the importance of putting together healthy meals, and adding proper exercise. Without the technology students would not be able to see the consequences of not fueling their bodies properly, and would not engage in planning healthy meals throughout the day. The games provide interactive fun learning for the students but is also content and real life related, which is important in enhancing student learning.
Kevins Build a meal: http://www.nourishinteractive.com/kids/en/build-a-meal/build-a-meal
my pyramid Blast off: http://www.fns.usda.gov/tn/Resources/game/Blastoff_Game.html