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Food n' Fitness Kid Connection: Oils, Make Wise Choices, Complete Activities

Content by: NCES, Inc.

Make Wise Choices! Limit certain fats in the diet...a fun activity for classroom experience.

Food n' Fitness Kid Connection:  Oils, Make Wise Choices, Complete Activities






While Oils are not an official food group there is a need for a minimal amount of oils in our diets. Oils, such as canola, corn, olive and sunflower differ from solid fats like butter and shortening in that they contain more monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (good fats). Solid fats contain more saturated fats and /or trans fats than oils. Due to their high levels of saturated fats, coconut oil and palm kernel oil should be considered solid fats. In addition to vegetable oil, the following foods are naturally high in oil: olives, nuts, some fish and avocados.

Oil Resisters Activity
Remind children that healthy oils are allowed in small amounts but most fats should be avoided as much as possible. Download and print the images of healthy oils and fats and unhealthy oils and fats along with the pictures of the exercises from the accompanying support materials. You will need to make enough copies for each team to have their own set of images. Form 4 teams with 4-6 people per team. Line each team up in the middle of the classroom. Shuffle all the healthy and unhealthy fat images together and place on the floor in front of the first person in line for each team. Designate one end of the classroom to be the “healthy” fats drop off and the other end of the classroom as the “bad” fats drop off. At each end of the class room place the images of the four different exercises provided in your support materials. After each child chooses which a fat, they have to decide whether it is a ”good” fat or a “bad” fat and run to the correct end of the room. Once they have dropped off their fat at the correct end of the classroom the student will then pick an exercise provided in your support materials. Younger kids can do 5 repetitions of the exercise they choose and the older kids can do 10 repetitions of the exercise they choose. When the child is done doing the exercise they will run back to their group and tag the next person in line. The first group to have all students finish, wins!

Fat Finder Activity:

Send home a note asking parents or caregivers for help with this activity. Using the food in their homes, ask students to search food labels of packaged foods for healthy and unhealthy fats found in their food. Have them look for words like canola oil, vegetable oil, olive oil, shortening, lard, butter, margarine, partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, and hydrogenated oils. Remind them that a little fat is okay, but too much is not good for them or their family. You can also ask students to bring in food packages from home and as a class become label investigators looking for healthy fats versus unhealthy fats.

Bag It Activity

• Two bags (1 green bag for healthy fats and 1 red bag for unhealthy fats)
• Food images

Using food models, pictures of food from the accompanying support materials and magazines, or empty boxes and bottles, have students bag the healthy fats in the green bag and the unhealthy fats in the red bag.

Examples of Healthy Fats Include:
Fish, nut butters (like peanut butter), avocado, nuts, seeds, canola oil, vegetable oil, olive oil.

Examples of Unhealthy Fats or foods made with Unhealthy Fats Include:
Shortening, butter, and margarine, candy bars, packaged cookies, donuts, chips, mayonnaise, salad dressing, sour cream, fried foods, french fries.


● Oils are not an official food group like grains, vegetables, fruits, dairy and protein.

● They are important for good health, but you only need a little bit.

● We should get most of our calories and nutrients from the five food groups.

● Oils are fats that are liquid at room temperature.

● Oils are also found in many foods, such as nuts and some fish.

● Fat stores energy for when you need it, helps you grow, keeps you warm, protects your bones from injury, helps your brain think, and keeps your skin healthy.

● Too much fat is bad for your body (especially your heart) and can make you overweight.

● Choose naturally lower fat foods such as fruits, vegetables, beans, grains, low-fat/fat free milk and lean meats over fatty snacks and treats.

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