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Fast Foods: GO and WHOA Fast Foods (K-2; 3-5)



Theme: Fast Foods


Teacher Note

  1. The lessons below should be taught in the sequence in which they appear:
  2. This lesson is intended for both K–2 and 3–5 participants, except for the following:
      • The word energy is used in references to energy balance only in the 3–5 lesson
      • One of the Additional Activities is applicable only to participants in the 3–5 group


Learner Objectives

Participants will:
  • Identify GO and WHOA fast food menu choices
  • Apply strategies for healthier eating at fast food restaurants




1. Review

  1. Review the concepts in the Fast Foods theme by saying or paraphrasing the following:

    Are any fast foods 'bad foods?' (No) Are any fast foods WHOA foods?(Yes, lots of them!) What are things fast foods contain that make them WHOA foods? (Salt, added sugars, unhealthy kinds of fat)

    Why should you eat foods that contain a lot of salt only once in a while? (Sodium is an ingredient of salt, and eating too much sodium can cause a problem called high blood pressure—even in young people.)

    Why should you eat foods that contain added sugars only once in a while? (These foods can get your body out of [energy] balance and, over time, make you gain weight. Also, added sugars can cause cavities.)

    Why should you eat foods that contain unhealthy kinds of fat only once in a while? (People who eat too many unhealthy, solid fats are more likely to have arteries that are stiff—and that makes it harder for their heart to do its work.) There’s another reason: just like eating too many added sugars, eating too many unhealthy kinds of fat can get your body out of [energy] balance and, over time, make you gain weight.

    Let’s say why a few fast foods are WHOA foods. What makes a milkshake a WHOA food? (Added sugars and an unhealthy kind of fat) What makes chicken nuggets a WHOA food? (Too much salt and an unhealthy kind of fat) What makes sausage or pepperoni on a pizza a WHOA food? (Too much salt and an unhealthy kind of fat)


2. Ordering Fast Food

  1. Tell participants they’re going to pretend they’re in a fast food restaurant. Say or paraphrase the following directions:

    You’re going to see a menu that offers GO foods and WHOA foods. You and a partner will each have a turn being a customer who orders something from the menu, and a waitperson who takes the order.

    When it’s your turn to be a customer, remember the strategies you learned for healthier eating at fast food restaurants. Let’s name those strategies.

    • Order GO foods in sizes that aren’t too big.
    • Order a smaller size of a WHOA food.
    • Share a larger size of a WHOA food with someone.
    • Take home part of a larger size of a WHOA food and eat it later.


  1. Divide participants into pairs. Pair readers with non-readers, if applicable. [Notes: (1) As needed, go over the menu items. (2) If there are K–2 participants who are nonreaders, divide participants in groups of three and include only one non-reader in each group. Have two participants play the role of customer at one time, so that the non-reader can receive help with the menu from a reader.]

  2. Give each pair of participants a Freddy’s Fast Food Menu handout. Allow each partner to play both roles.

  3. If time allows, ask a few pairs of participants to name the strategy they used and what they ordered.

  4. Ask participants to raise their hand if they’re going to eat healthier the next time they go to a fast food restaurant. Reinforce them for a positive response.

Additional Activities

  1. On paper plates, have participants draw fast food meals made up of mostly GO foods.

  2. [3–5 only] Bring in nutrition information for menu items at three or four fast food restaurants. [Alternative: Print this information from the companies’ websites and make copies.] Give a copy of each menu to groups of participants. Have participants repeat the Ordering Fast Food activity using the nutrition information as menus.



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