This food label scavenger hunt can be a great activity to use in order to get kids and teens to look at the nutrition information on food labels in a fun way.
Here’s how to do this scavenger hunt:
1. Make a list
Compile a list of food items that you can find in the grocery store – 20 to 30 should be enough for this activity.
2. Difficulty level
The list you produce could include items that will be easy to find, or you might decide to include items that will be harder for players to locate in the store (e.g. taramasalata, water crackers, etc).
As mentioned above, this activity can be a great way to have youth find out more about the nutritional content of food. If that’s your objective with this, it could be worth choosing foods that will provide an obvious contrast. For example:
- Beef burgers vs turkey burgers
- 2% milk vs fat free milk
- Cupcakes vs granola bars
- Sunny D vs pure orange juice
- Thick crust meat pizza vs thin crust vegetable pizza
- Coca-Cola vs Diet Coke
4. Nutrition information
Decide what info you want the players to find. You could just have them find the calorific content of each item, or the scavenger hunt could be set up so that they have to find the fat content on 5 products, protein content on 5 other products, etc. Another option would be to find the calorie, protein, fat and carbohydrate information for each item.
Also, bear in mind that many food labels will list the nutritional content based on both portion size and by weight/volume. Whichever option you go for, make it clear on the list you produce what’s required.
Next, you’ll need to find the answers yourself! If you don’t want to have to take a trip to the grocery store in order to do this, take a look in your cupboards, fridge and freezer for products and use those instead.
6. Produce the list
Now that you have all the information that you need, produce a list that the players can take around the grocery store with them.
7. Contact the grocery store
If you’re planning on doing this activity with kids or teenagers (whether as part of a youth group or as a school activity), it might be worth contacting the grocery store in advance. This way, you can explain what you’re planning so that the young people don’t get in trouble while hunting down all the different food labels.
8. Do the scavenger hunt!
Everything should now be ready, so it’s time for the players to do the food label scavenger hunt.
This will either be the player who completed their list correctly first, or the one who found the most answers within a given time limit.
If you’ve done this activity with a purpose (see point 3), spend some time discussing with the young people what they’ve learned. Were they shocked by the difference in nutritional content between similar products? Are they likely to make different food choices based on what they’ve learned?
If you liked this idea, check out all of our other scavenger hunt ideas, along with our other food scavenger hunts.