Snatch the Healthy Fat


Race to "snatch" as many "slow" or "go" foods as possible and place them in the correct category bag.

Materials and Preparation:

  • Print the Snatch the Healthy Fat worksheets
  • "Healthy" and "Unhealthy" fat cards- copy and cut out 2 sets (preferably onto card stock).
  • Note: Children should have some understanding of the difference between "Go" foods with healthy fat and "Slow" foods with unhealthy fats. Explain that healthy fats contain plant fats (like nuts or olive oil) and fish oils, or have lower saturated fat (like low-fat milk). Fats that are not healthy are saturated, like fat from animals (like butter, red meat, or whole milk), and trans fat (found in processed snacks, margarine, and many fried fast foods like French fries).
  • Paper bags or signs that read "Go", "Slow", and "Oops" (2 sets)
  • Whistle (optional)
  • Optional: Gather empty food containers representing each of the foods listed on the go/slow cards, or tape the food cards to small containers such as milk cartons, to make it easier for children to collect the foods
  • Note: A gym or open space is needed

How to Play:

  1. Divide the group into 2 teams and have each team line up on opposite sides of a gym or field.
  2. Have the players on each team count off 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 etc. Players need to remember their numbers!
  3. Place the fat cards (or containers) in the center of the room. Show the group a few examples and explain that foods with unhealthy fat are foods that we should eat only sometimes (called "slow" foods), but the "go" foods are foods with healthy fat and should be eaten to stay healthy.
    • If playing with younger students, you may need to review all of the foods prior to playing so that they will understand how to sort them.
  4. Explain that the teams will race to collect "slow" (unhealthy fats) and "go" (healthy fats) foods, depending on what you call out. The object of the game is to make it back to the team with as many foods as possible.
  5. Start by calling out a number (1-5) and "SLOW!" or "GO!" All of the players with that number will run to the center and find a food that meets your command. Each player will pick up one food, race back to the team and place it in the appropriate bag. If a player snatched the wrong type of food, they must drop it in the "Oops" bag.
  6. Play until all foods have been snatched, then review the bags to see if all foods have been placed correctly. The team with the least mistakes or foods in the "oops" bag wins.

Optional Set-Up

  • Line up all of the children on one side of the gym and have the entire group work together to sort the cards (use multiple sets of cards so that all children can pick up a card; it's best if they have the chance to race back for more cards). Select 2 or 3 children to stand in the middle of the gym and throw the cards into the air, scattering them around the floor. Players then race to pick up a card and sort it into the containers (large paper bags, boxes or piles) on the opposite side of the gym.

Extension Activities:

  • Using snatch the fat cards, play a version of Red Light, Green Light where the leader calls out names of "Go" foods (green light) and "Slow" food (red light)*. For example, the leader may call out "olive oil!" and the children move forward, or "whole milk!" and the children have to stop. Children that move when a slow snack is called are out. The first child to tag the leader becomes the new game leader. (© Epstein LH, Squires S. Stoplight Diet for Children: An Eight-Week Program for Parents and Children. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 1998).
  • After completing Snatch the Healthy Fat, talk to kids about their favorite snacks. Which "slow" snacks would they be willing to give up? Which "go" snacks would they like to try instead?