Story Time Dinner #1


Description: Students discuss and act out their healthy dinner eating routines.
Objective: Students will share how preparing and eating dinner makes them feel.


  1. Gather the students into a circle and have them to sit down.
  2. Ask them why it is important to eat healthy foods for dinner (healthy dinner foods refuel our bodies with energy spent during the day). Ask them how they feel when they skip dinner (tired, hungry, weak, distracted). Ask them if they like feeling this way.
  3. Tell them it is "Story Time" again, but this time it is "Dinner Story Time." Tell them about your own dinner ritual, what you ate for dinner yesterday, and how it made you feel. Describe how the food smells and tastes. Use movements to show how you prepare and eat the food.
  4. Next, ask individual students to tell the story of their own dinner eating routines in the middle of the circle.
  5. Guide them with questions:
    • What will they eat tonight?
    • How does the food look, taste, and smell?
    • What do they or their families do to prepare the food?
    • Does it have to be cooked or toasted, chopped or stirred?
    • What are their favorite parts about eating dinner?
    • Do they talk with their family during dinner?
    • How do they feel after eating?
  6. If a student names a food or drink high in fat or added sugar, gently guide her or him to think of a healthier choice.
  7. Once they finish their story, invite the students who also enjoy this food to jump all the way around the outside of the circle and back to their spots.
  8. After a few students have had a turn, ask some new students to mime their dinner routines (how they prepare and eat it) in the center of the circle (one at a time) without talking.
  9. Have the rest of the class imitate the mimes and then guess what the dinner foods are.
  10. Once they have guessed correctly, the students who enjoy this dinner food should jump all the way around the outside of the circle and back to their spots.

Background Information

Eating dinner is important because it refuels the body with the nutrients it needs to function at its best. Dinner is also a social event, and it can be quality time spent with family members. Frequent family meals are associated with better grades, a lower risk of smoking, drinking and using marijuana, and a lower incidence of depressive symptoms and suicidal thoughts.

"Go" foods refer to nutritious foods that give children the energy to play and go. "Slow" foods refer to foods high in fat and added sugar which can slow the body down.

Healthy ("Go") Dinner Foods and Drinks:

asparagus baked potatoes
avocado steamed broccoli or cauliflower
brown rice carrot sticks
black beans grilled chicken
corn grilled turkey
green beans grilled tuna
low-fat milk grilled salmon
mushrooms low-fat macaroni and cheese
snap peas whole-grain (brown) noodles
salads low-fat vegetable pizza
tofu turkey sausage
watermelon corn or whole wheat tortillas
yogurt vegetable burgers

Less Healthy ("Slow") Dinner Foods and Drinks:

hamburgers refried beans
hot dogs fried chicken
bacon fried fish sticks
french fries high fat pepperoni pizza
creamy soups General Tso’s chicken
soft drinks sweet & sour chicken

Related National Standards

NHES: 1.2.1, 7.2.1, 7.2.2
NSPE: 1, 2, 5
NS: NS.K-4.6

Further information about the National Standards can be found here