Fast Food to Go Food! Additional Activity #4


Description: Students jog while suggesting ways to transform greasy, fast food favorites into nutritious meals.
Objective: Students will learn how to make fast food healthier.


  1. Gather the students into a large circle around you.
  2. Ask them what "fast food" is (food that is made quickly, usually for pick-up, at places like McDonald’s, and is often high in fat, salt, and added sugar).
  3. Next, ask them to name some fast foods. Do they think they are "slow" or "go" foods (see below for some possible answers)?
  4. Explain that fast foods and "go" foods might sound similar, but are actually very different. Because fast foods are usually high in fat, salt, and added sugar, they should actually be considered "slow" foods because they slow our bodies down.
  5. Ask the students what french fries are made out of. Tell them potatoes are vegetables that, if boiled or baked, can be good for you but when they are fried with a lot of oil, they become a "slow" food.
  6. Tell the students they should march (skip, hop, slide) clockwise in the circle until they hear you name a fast food (see below for fast foods).
  7. Then, tell them the first person who can think of how to make this fast food healthier (turn it from "slow" to "go") or who can think of a healthier food that could replace it should jog to the middle of the circle and share their idea.
  8. Continue playing until you have gone through all the foods or until time runs out.

Activity Note

Realistically, students will occasionally choose to eat fast food, sometimes because no other options are available. In those cases, encourage them to choose smaller portions (e.g. a small hamburger).

Background Information

Common Fast Foods and "Go" Food Alternatives:

  • French fries (deep fried potatoes)—Have a boiled or baked potato without butter or sour cream and little or no salt
  • Cheeseburgers or "Big Macs" (ground beef with American cheese on a white bun)—Have a turkey or chicken burger with no (or low-fat) cheese on a whole grain bun
  • Soft drinks (made with high amounts of added-sugar)—Have water, seltzer, or 100% fruit juice
  • Ice-cream sundaes, milkshakes, "McFlurries" (made with high amounts of added sugar and whole milk)—Have a yogurt parfait, fruit smoothie, or carton of low-fat or skim milk
  • Salads with ranch dressing (made with whole milk)—Have low-fat dressing such as oil and vinegar or low-fat Italian
  • Chips (made with lots of salt and fried in oil)—Have baked tortilla chips with salsa or pretzels
  • Candy bars (high in added sugar and fat)—Have apple or mango slices or carrot sticks

Related National Standards

NHES: 1.5.1, 1.5.2, 5.5.5, 7.5.1, 7.5.2
NSPE: 1, 5
NS: NS.K-4.6

Further information about the National Standards can be found here