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Making the food guide pyramid into an educational game

Agricultural Communications Documentation Center (ACDC)
Manahan, Laurie (main author / Yummy Designs, Walla Walla, WA )
Conference paper
Publication Date:
Agricultural Communications Documentation Center, Funk Library, University of Illinois Box: 97
Subject Term:
games, nutrition education, nutrition information, nutrition policy, teaching methods, USDA programs
James F. Evans Collection, Ham, Mimeographed, 1994. 1 p. Presented at the Society for Nutrition Education, Portland, OR, July 16-20, 1994., Games are frequently used to teach a variety of subjects in schools and adult training programs. Games enhance learning by holding attention, encouraging interaction and discussion, and adding variety, creativity, and enjoyment. A game format seemed to offer potential for teaching the USDA's new Food Guide Pyramid. My objective was to develop an educational and entertaining Food Pyramid Game. After researching educational games, I developed "Food Pyramid Lotto", with 4-colored Pyramid Playing Boards and 100 colored Food Cards. Players use the Food Cards to build balanced menus on their pyramid boards. To test out the game, 100 games were produced and distributed to nutritionists and teachers in a variety of programs. Feedback was extremely positive, and indicated that: 1) the game was effective in teaching the Food Guide Pyramid; 2) the game was appropriate for school children, as well as for teens, WIC, NET, home ec, extension, food service training and adult health promotion. After revisions, the game was reprinted and is now being marketed to nutrition educators and teachers nationwide. My conclusion is that a game can be a very effective and enjoyable approach to teaching the Food Guide Pyramid.