Directions:

Round 1

  1. Divide the students into pairs and give each pair a menu and five dollars. Designate one student as the cashier and the other as the customer.
  2. Using their budget of five dollars, have one student order a meal from the menu provided. The partner will total up their order and make change. Have the partner create a receipt with the items purchased, the total cost, and the change received. Then, have the students switch roles.
  3. Poll the class to determine which items were ordered. You may wish to make a graph depicting the students’ selections. After Round 2, you will poll the class again regarding their selections. After both polls have been taken, you can determine in which round the students made the healthiest selections.

Begin by discussing the contents of each meal selection. Did students choose food based on taste, nutrition or cost? It may be helpful at this point to have a student or students collect data on the amount of children who purchased food based on the different categories of taste, nutrition or cost. Ask each child to report their purchased items and graph the results accordingly using a bar graph. Continue to ask the students if they thought that their purchase was healthy and nutritious. Once you have established if each child’s selection was healthy or unhealthy, ask the students which items on the menu are nutritious (i.e., salads, fruit cups and meats) and which items on the menus have few nutrients (i.e., french fries, cookies and ice cream).

Round 2

  1. Take the pairs from Round 1 and combine them into groups of four. Each person still has a budget of five dollars. However, two members of the group will pretend that they are going out to lunch. Therefore, they have the option of sharing items if they choose to do so. The other two group members are responsible for calculating the cost of the order. Each role should be determined before starting the next round.
  2. Advise students to make the healthiest meal choices in this round. Some tips include:
    • Order regular sized meals instead of the extra-large or “super-sized” meals
    • Split items with a friend
    • Order water instead of pop
    • Order a side salad instead of french fries
    • Order a fruit cup instead of ice cream, cookies or pie for a sweet dessert
    • Eat half of your order and take the rest home
  3. After one pair purchases a meal, have the group members switch roles.
  4. Following the activity, poll the class again to see how many people ordered each item this round. Create a graph of the Round 2 choices. Compare the first and second round graphs. Using the graphs, have students determine which round included the healthiest choices.

Discuss with the class which items were bought the most from Round 1 to Round 2 and which items were bought the least from Round 1 to Round 2. Did more students purchase water, fruits, and vegetables in Round 1 or Round 2? Identify in each round the amount of water, fruits and vegetables purchased. Explain to the students that it is OK to order food that does not have a lot of nutrients. But, it is important to try to eat nutrient-rich food and to stay active so that you are able to concentrate in school and interact well with others.

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