NEW HEALTH PACKAGE • The Inverted Food Pyramid

Use the inverted food pyramid to initiate a discussion on nutrition, physical exercise and the secrets to a healthy lifestyle.

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Everything you need to play this game

A step-by-step guide to play the game

1

Ask a player to tell the group about his/her favorite food.

2

Allow the player to identify the category or the color of the food group where that specific ingredient would fit in.

3

Give the player the opportunity to reflect on why this ingredient is healthy or unhealthy. Discuss with the group if the other participants agree or disagree.

4

Try to link as many other ingredients to the same category of foods, depending on your local context!

5

The game ends when you’ve discussed all the categories of the inverted food pyramid.

Extra game information

The Food Triangle - developed by the Belgian agency Gezond Leven (www.gezondleven.be) – offers guidelines on which foods are preferable and what’s best being limited. Products at the top of the pyramid (blue - green) should be eaten more, and products at the bottom (orange - red) should be eaten less. The reversed pyramid is drawn in five different colors:

  • Blue: at the top of the pyramid is the category of water, since it is especially important to consume lots of water to keep your fluid levels in balance.
  • Dark green: these are the foods that originate from plants and that have a favorable effect on your health: vegetables, fruits, whole grains, potatoes, legumes, nuts, seeds and plant oils.
  • Light green: these are the products derived from animals that have a favorable or neutral effect on your health such as fish, yoghurt, milk, cheese, poultry and eggs.
  • Orange: these are the foods originating from plants and animals that can have an unfavorable effect on your health when consumed in large amounts: red meat, butter, coconut- and palm oil.
  • Red: apart from the triangle is the ‘others’ category. These are highly processed products which contain a lot of salt, sugar and/or fat. It’s better to avoid these products or to consume them in small amounts.


On the left side, you will find another pyramid on movement and physical exercise since a healthy diet always needs to be combined with physical activity and exercise in order to have a healthy lifestyle. This pyramid also uses two colours of the food pyramid.

  • Orange: not enough physical exercise (a boy sitting down on the ground, taking a rest)
  • Green: physical exercise: yoga, skateboarding, running, walking, physical workout, cycling and playing football.


Variations

  • Include some creative roleplay to the discussions. For example: ask the children to act out a specific food or beverage and link it to the inverted food pyramid.
  • Ask the children to step away from the panel and pick a specific ingredient. The children now need to throw a little ball to towards the right food group.
  • Ask the children to pick one of the characters depicted on the physical exercise pyramid. Then, ask what would be his/her favorite food and why? Is it healthy or unhealthy?
  • Chain of words: One player says the name of a random type of food (e.g. bread). The next player has to name another type of food beginning with the last letter of the previous word (e.g. bread -> dumpling). When a player can't come up with a new word, the game ends. After the game, start a discussion about different types of food like: What type of food do you like? Which foods are made from animals and which are derived from plants? Where do you find your meals? Do you have problems finding food? - What do you usually eat and why? - Do you pay attention to eating healthy food? Why (not)? 
  • Use the panel to discuss the different tastes with the players: bitter, salty, sour, sweet and savoury (umami). If possible, let the players blind taste some ingredients and discuss.
  • Food market: Organise a small food market by setting up a table with some local foods on it. Ask the players to pick something from the table and to check which category it belongs to on the panel. Ask them whether it is a healthy or an unhealthy food and how frequently we should be eating it.
  • Nutritional train: Ask each player to draw a train with seven wagons, one for each day of the week. The players will now draw the foods they eat on each day of the week in the carriages. When their drawings are finished, the players will "exchange" trains and discuss what they have drawn with another player. You can also draw a train together with the group. Draw nutritious foods in the first six carriages and fastfood or unhealthy foods in the last carriage to visualise and discuss how frequently we should be eating healthy and unhealthy foods.

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