Duration: around 10 min.
Group size: Any
Materials: Appendix 1 (Infographic – list of foods and drinks and the amount of sugar contained in each)
The Facilitator asks the group to make a circle and asks one person to start the game by saying a sentence „I am going to the market to buy…”. The participant should list a product which in their opinion does not contain sugar, ex. „ I’m going to the market to buy bread”. Then the next person says the product mentioned by the first participant and adds theirs, ex. „I’m going to the market to buy bread and water”. Each person repeats the list and adds an item. The purpose is to remember all of the products that people have added before and try to list only those that are sugar free. If there is a small number of participants, the game can be repeated in circles.
Hints for the facilitator:
- At the end of the game the Facilitator can invite participants to analyze the products listed during the game and prepare a list with a food and drinks and how the sugar contained in each.
- The exercise should be used as an introduction to the topic – The Facilitator can explain that we eat much more sugar than we should, even in the food and drinks are considered healthy, diet and sugar free.
1. „Sugar water”
Duration: around 20 min.
Group size: Any
Materials: Measuring cups or large plastic cups which can hold 3 cups of liquid (750 ml); 500 g of white sugar or 100 cubes of sugar, paper and pens, 5 teaspoons, sweetened soda to taste the flavor
The Facilitator divides participants into smaller groups of 4/5 people and gives each group approx. 500 ml of water in a cup, 20 teaspoons of sugar, 1 teaspoon, a piece of paper and a pen.
Next the facilitator explains that 500 ml equals to a bottle of sugar sweetened soda and asks participants to discuss – within their teams – how many spoons of sugar are needed to make the same amount of water as sweet as the sweetened soda in a bottle. They should write down the number on a paper. Then each group adds the amount of sugar decided and stir it until it dissolves. Then the Facilitator asks one volunteer from each group to taste their own sugar water and discuss whether the water is as sweet as the bottled sweetened soda. Next the facilitator asks groups to present their results on:
- How many teaspoons of sugar are added to the water?
- Is the sugar water as sweet as the bottled soda?
At the end, the facilitator presents the results saying that the 500 ml bottled sweetened soda contains around 18 teaspoons of sugar – it can be presented by putting the sugar into the bottle.
Next the Facilitator can ask some of the following questions:
- Is the amount of sugar added to the soda more or less than expected?
- Do you add sugar in your drinks and food?
- Is sugar healthy?
- Do we need sugar? When?
This short discussion can lead to the next activity.
2. „Sugar or no Sugar”
Duration: around 40 min. (or longer – depends on the time of preparation)
Group size: Any
Materials: pens, papers, flip charts, computers or other devices with the Internet access
The facilitator divides the group into 2 teams and asks some people to become observers to the discussion. The groups will be debating on the topic „Sugar is needed to keep people healthy”. The task of the first team is to find arguments which will confirm the theory and the second one to look for facts to overthrow it. Both teams should prepare reliable facts and present them in a professional way – using graphs, pictures, notes. The Facilitator will lead a discussion, by letting people from each team speak providing: One argument for and one against. At the end, the Facilitator will conclude the debate and ask the observers to decide which group was prepared better and was more convincing. Then the Facilitator may ask the whole group to rationally decide whether (based on the facts) sugar is healthy for people.
Hints for the facilitator:
- Make sure the teams are equally numbered in people
- Make sure that the observers are engaged in the whole process – the preparation and the presentation – they should watch carefully how the groups work, how they communicate, where they find information
- If it is required – prolong the activity – so the teams can prepare well – encourage them to make posters, graphs or even a multimedia presentation
- During the debate, remember to keep the order in the room, so speakers are not disturbed – questions can be asked by the viewers and the opposite team members after each argument is finished
- Remember to sum up briefly the discussion
- Internet sources of finding information about sugar:
3. „Sugar day off”
Duration: 20 min. of creating the recipes and 30 min. of preparing food
Group size: 20 people or less
Materials: Cooking books, Cooking blogs (sugar free cooking), food products, kitchen utensils, cooker, oven
In this task, the Facilitator divides the group into 5 smaller ones according to the number of daily meals: Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch, Afternoon snack, Dinner. The division can be done randomly, or the Facilitator can ask participants which meal they want to create and let them choose. The objective of the activity is to come up with a recipe for each meal (it can be inspired by already existing ones) which will be sugar free and that can be prepared by the participants during the classes. After the recipes and the dishes are ready, groups should give them a name, take pictures and promote this activity of the „Start now” project on the social media. At a later stage the recipes accompanied by photos could be printed on a leaflet and distributed to the people as promotional materials.
Upon completion of all activities, the Facilitator asks each participant to share with the whole group, using a metaphor to their favourite fruit (which naturally contains fructose): How do you feel?, example – I feel like a red, juicy apple – fresh and healthy.
„How does the sugar affect teeth”
This activity can be performed at home individually or in groups at schools, youth clubs etc.
Duration: 1 week
Group size: Any
Materials: 3 cups, eggs shells, water, orange juice, soda
The Facilitator invites participants to take part in a 1 week long experiment showing how harmful enamel sugary drinks can be for the teeth. The experiment contains the following steps:
- Pour the liquid into individual cups;
- Prepare eggs shells – which are going to represent the enamel on our teeth;
- Put one-two eggshells into each cup of liquid (fully submerged);
- Leave for one week, topping up the different liquid levels every few days;
- After one week, take the egg shells out and examine what the different drinks have done to them.
Each participant or a group should document every day of the experiment by taking photos and writing short notes on how much the egg shells are changing from day to day. The observation could be posted on the social media.
Results: The shell in the orange juice should be pretty much dissolved (due to the high acid and sugar contents in the juice). The shell in soda will have brown spots, while the shell in the water should be completely un-touched, demonstrating exactly why water as a drink free of sugar is always the best choice.