Odd One Out

Fuel up

Activity overview

15 mins
Ages 5 – 7 , Ages 7 – 9 , Ages 9 – 11

Science topics:

Animals, including humans

You will need:

The classroom view of the images.

Put your class' observation skills to the test with these three snacks. This activity is great for promoting observation and discussion skills.

Run the activity

1. Show the three images above and ask everyone to come up with as many similarities and differences as they can. If they get stuck, prompt them to think about:

  • appearance
  • what they do
  • where they might be found

2. Then, everyone needs to decide which one is the odd one out and why. Encourage a reason for every answer and there is no wrong answer!

Background science

We need a variety of foods in our diet to make sure we get enough nutrients, water and fibre, which are released through the process of digestion.

Food and drink provide the ‘fuel’ for our bodies. Different types of food and drink provide different amounts of energy.  Fruit and vegetables are usually lower in energy and food such as oils and spreads are usually higher in energy. The amount of energy we use for different activities varies too. A child skipping for 15 minutes uses nearly 7 times more energy than writing for the same amount of time. The more exercise we do, the more energy our bodies need.

Marathon runners need to make sure they have enough energy to run up to 26 miles so they will eat starchy foods such as pasta the night before a race. Bananas are a favourite energy snack for athletes too because they are easy to digest and provide essential minerals. Cereal bars can provide a balanced snack but be aware that many contain a lot of refined sugar making them much less healthy. 

For comparison, a granola cereal bar provides 100-300 kcal of energy, a medium banana provides 165 kcal of energy and 100g of cooked pasta provides 170kcal of energy.

Take it further

This BBC teach video looks at the importance of a healthy breakfast. Children could investigate how different types of breakfast affect how fast they can run. They could eat different breakfasts in the classroom each week before a PE lesson, or science lesson, and then time how fast they can run a set distance. The children would be comparing their own performance rather than others, as some children will run faster than others. 

Explore the nutrition of different foods with activities from Food A Fact of Life.

Why not try some other food-related Explorify activities? Take a look at different fruits and vegetables being harvested in Rich Pickings, zoom in and get close up with Red and Bumpy, or wonder Does colour affect how we taste things?