Dinner Train Dinner #5


Description: Students move through the classroom as a "dinner train,” speeding up when someone calls out a healthy dinner food to fuel the body.
Objective: Students will identify the five food groupings and a variety of healthy dinner foods.


  1. Have the students stand in a single file line behind you.
  2. Tell them to silently choose which healthy dinner food they are on the dinner train. Say, "Let’s pretend to be a dinner train."
  3. Ask them what trains run on (fuel). Then ask them what people run on (food). Explain that food is fuel for our bodies. We need food so we have energy to learn and play.
  4. Then remind them it is important to eat different kinds, or a variety, of dinner foods because each type of food does something different and special for our bodies. Give examples (e.g. grapes keep our skin healthy, spinach keeps our muscles healthy, and milk keeps our bones healthy).
  5. Ask or remind them what food groupings are (categories of foods based on what they provide for and how they affect our bodies).
  6. Ask them to name the five food groupings and give them examples of foods in each grouping (fruits— grapes, watermelon; vegetables— squash, cabbage; grains— whole wheat pasta, rye bread; milk and milk products— skim milk, low-fat yogurt; meats, beans, and nuts— grilled chicken, fish).
  7. Next, say to the students "Chew, chew, here we go!" Begin to jog slowly around the playing space in your single file line.
  8. Explain that you are going to "fuel up" with different dinner foods and that, one at a time, the last car on the train (the student at the end) should run up to the front of the train to take the place of the leader.
  9. Then, she or he should call out her or his healthy dinner food. Once she or he has shared her or his food, the next student at the end should run up to the front, etc.
  10. Encourage students not to repeat foods.

Background Information

Healthy ("Go") Dinner Foods and Drinks:

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

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

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

Related National Standards

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

Further information about the National Standards can be found here