|Reviewers Comments: ||Let’s Play FOOD Ball is a fun resource that offers a unique way to teach basic MyPyramid skills. Using PowerPoint slides, players are taken through a virtual football game, in which they are asked a series of nutrition questions that they must answer correctly to score a touchdown and advance to the next slide. Incorrect answers correspond to fumbles, flags on play, and incomplete passes, after which players are given another chance to answer correctly until they are right.
The initial web page for the resource is slightly intimidating with a number of different links and lots of text. Once the actual resource is downloaded, it is easy to follow and contains everything needed to play the game. The first nine slides explain the objective and target audiences and give basic guidance and instructions for facilitators on using the PowerPoint slides with a group. While it is not necessary to have extensive experience with PowerPoint to use this resource, it would be helpful to have a basic background by practicing with the slides before presenting them. The slides would work best when used in an informal group setting, such as in a small classroom or group meeting, but it could also be adapted to work in larger lectures or even in a one on one setting.
It is strongly recommended that this resource is used with an instructor with a strong background in nutrition, and not as a stand-alone tool. While basic nutrition facts are given, this resource would be most effective when accompanied by an explanation and discussion of the questions and the coach’s tips. The resource may be used by itself if it is used as a review or evaluation piece, following a more comprehensive nutrition lesson.
The information and tips presented are from MyPyramid and the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. As the PowerPoint explains, like real football, FOOD Ball can be enjoyed by ages, from children aged six to adults. The discussion accompanying the game should be modified according to the age of the players. Links to other resources are included at the beginning of the presentation, with separate lists for children’s resources and resources for all age groups. All of the resources listed appear free, credible and available online.
This resource includes great visuals and sound effects, including vivid photos of real food from MyPyramid. Its animation and interactive nature keep it fresh and stimulating. There are clever quotes that inject humor into the presentation and even a short halftime show.
There are 104 total slides included and the presentation can take anywhere from ½ hour to an hour, depending on the amount of discussion. The slides were designed to run on PowerPoint 2003 or newer and when presented in “slide show” format. Using a projection screen and/or speakers is optimal, but not necessary.