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Review of:

Healthy Hurdles™ Nutrition Game

Producer:Learning Resources
Date Produced:2007
  • Game
  • Elementary School (6-8 yrs)
  • Middle School (9-12 yrs)
  • General Nutrition
  • Physical Activity
  • Meal Planning
  • MyPlate/DGA Training
  • Healthy Eating Tips
  • Grains/Whole Grains
  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Dairy
  • Protein
Description:Two healthy lifestyle games in one! Students can either create a balanced meal or collect a food item from each food group to win. Games also require players to burn off foods they don't need through exercise. A great way to introduce food-related vocabulary to English language learners. Healthy Hurdles™ offers the option of play in pairs, groups of 3 or a group of 6. Games correlate with the USDA's new MyPyramid Food Guidance System. Game boards measure 12 1/2" square. Features 50 exercise cards and 110 food cards.
Ordering Info:www.LearningResources.com or call 800-333-8281
Web Site:www.LearningResources.com


A. Use of MyPlate/MyPlate or the Dietary Guidelines for Americans
Material incorporates and uses some concepts in MyPlate or the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
B. Scope
Scope of information is a mix of appropriate and less than appropriate concepts.

The stated educational objective is to "help students identify multicultural foods and which food groups they belong to according to the USDA approved food pyramid." However, the game pieces provide no clue as to what is considered a "multicultural" food unless the word "multicultural" is meant to mean foods that are used by several cultures, such as rice.
C. Purpose
Purpose stated in title or introduction is vague.

See answer to comment B-Scope on the stated educational objective.
D. Organization
Material is poorly organized, and major points are not easily identified.

Directions and materials for playing the two games that could be played with the game boards were confusing to me and another person who looked at the materials with me. For example: (1) The directions say to "play one game with 2 - 6 players OR Divide the students into two groups of three (Extra spinner and die are provided for this purpose.)" However there are 6 game boards for the "Food Group Recognition Game" with 2 rows along the bottom where it appears that 2 players can stack their game cards. This brought up several questions – if youth are playing individually, does each person get a game board? If just 2 players, do they use the same game board as there are 2 rows on it? On the other hand, if playing the “Meal Completion Game,” there are just two game boards with two rows on each for each meal: breakfast, lunch, dinner. How do youth use the boards if playing individually and there are 6 youth? (2) The spinners are double-sided; however the “spinner” was only on one side and there were no directions given for reversing it. Plus, it didn’t seem to pull apart. Attempts with a screw driver also didn’t remove it. (3) One of the landing points on the spinner card is “give” which means you have to give a card away – what if you don’t have a card yet? (3) On the “Meal Completion Game” side of the card, the directions say: “The numbers on the board represent how many servings from each food group you will need to complete your balanced meal.” There are 2 rows on each board and the numbers are not the same. For one of the rows, the numbers are mainly zeros.
E. Accuracy
Information contains major inaccuracies or recommendations are outdated.

Information is confusing and leads to some unusual recommendations. Examples follow. On the “Meal Completion Game” side of the game card, the directions say: “The numbers on the board represent how many servings from each food group you will need to complete your balanced meal.” There are 2 rows on each board and the numbers are not the same. For one of the rows, the numbers are mainly zeros. There is no explanation of why this is so.

Adding the total number of times the food groups are offered in the one row for the 3 meals for players aged “6+” on the “Meal Completion Game” side of the game card equals: 3 grains, 2 vegetables, 2 fruits, 3 oils, 3 milks and 3 meat and beans. This would be closest to the food pattern for a 1,000 calorie level; however it would be on the high side for “Meat and beans.”

On the “Meal Completion Game,” foods that would fit in the “oils” category are foods such as cookies, French Fries and Nacho Chips. These would bring additional calories beyond the oil and might not even have oil, but rather a solid fat.

If one can complete a meal by including a food from the designated food groups, this could result in a breakfast of: pretzels (grains), apple (fruit), slice of cake (oils), vanilla ice cream (milk) and steak (meat & beans). Though the game includes a section headed "Just for Fun, Try This!" and says one can play with the cards picture down and plan silly meals, it is questionable if all 6 players could plan non-silly meals with the food picture cards available???

F. Learner Background
Material assumes reader has considerable background information.

See E-Accuracy for more details. If this material is to teach youth aged 6+ about MyPyramid, it needs the help of an adult in interpreting the results to the youth.
G. Learning Objectives
Learning objectives identifiable and met somewhat.

See answer to comment B-Scope on the stated educational objective.
H. Learning Activities, Projects, or Interactive Learning Tools
Material does not mention any interactive learning activities or mentions unrealistic or inappropriate learning experiences, questions, projects, or suggestions for further action.

See previous comments.
I. Objectivity/Sponsor Bias
Subject matter presented objectively and fairly. No brand name promotion or obvious sponsor bias.
J. Inclusion of learning objectives, learner activities, instructional aids, lesson plans, evaluation component, identification of required instructional materials, web site with additional materials.

See previous comments.
K. Recipes (if included)
No recipes are included.
L. Recipes (if included)
No recipes are included.
M. Instructional Resources
Instructor resources included with some suggestions for enhancing the teaching process.

Though directions for the game are included, they are confusing.
N. Credits, References and Resources (Including dates, publisher, etc.)
Current and complete credits, references, and resources listed.

Name of publisher is included and "USDA approved food pyramid" included as references, etc.
O. Summary
No summary or review is included.

A. Role Models
Positive role models are provided in text and illustrations. Role models presented as having many roles, traits, and emotions.
B. Multi-cultural Representation
Racial, ethnic, and religious groups are represented in a factual manner showing a variety of roles, occupations, and values.

Several multicultural pictures of younger children.
C. Different lifestyles and food patterns
Material emphasizes a variety of values, practices, and/or food patterns representative of different lifestyles, cultures, and socioeconomic levels.

Print Materials
A. Writing Style
Main ideas are not clearly detectable and internal organization does not flow from one idea to the next.

See previous comments on the instructional sheet and game cards that accompanied the game.
B. Writing Approach
C. Vocabulary
D. Supportive Illustrations
E. Layout and Design
Color, design, and layout of material are adequate but do not stimulate interest.

Game card and spinner are attractive but directions for using them are confusing to implement.
F. Visual Quality
Paper weight used is heavy enough so that print from one side cannot be seen on the other side. Text is written in a font size that is easy to read, and the main body is not written in capital letters.
G. Headings/Cueing Devices
H. Approximate Reading Level

Audiovisual Materials

A. Concept Presentation
B. Pace
C. Auditory Quality

Not applicable to this game.
D. Visual Quality
E. Continuity

Overall Comments on Resource Reviewed

A. Positive Points of the Reviewed Resource:
Materials are very colorful and would be attractive to children.
B. Points that Could Be Improved:
Directions for playing the game and some of the features of the game materials were confusing.
C. General Comments
Clarifying some of the more confusing points about the directions and game materials by the developer of the game would add immensely to its usefulness.
D. Overall Summary
Potential purchasers are advised to personally look at the game materials and directions before buying this game to determine if they might be able use/adapt it for their educational activities. It is very colorful and has some potentially useful activities. Adult guidance and discussion with youth as they play would add to the overall usefulness of the materials.

Reviewer Rating
Any opinions expressed about any resource in this web site (either expressly or implied) are solely and completely the responsibility of the reviewer and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of the Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior.

Recommended with Reservations

Read other Review for this resource.