Colt Elementary students learn fitness, nutrition with Lunch Box Kids board game

Colt Elementary fifth-grade students Ezra Northan (left), Cassius Caddel, Lyndsey Schwope and Haydyn Long and physical education teacher Debby Johnson play the newly launched boardgame Lunch Box Kids. Staff photo by Connie Swinney

CONNIE SWINNEY • PICAYUNE STAFF

MARBLE FALLS — A new board game, which combines fun, fitness and food trivia, is the recipe for educating children about better health choices at Colt Elementary School.

Colt physical education teacher Debby Johnson just received a shipment of six Lunch Box Kids games to use in her physical fitness curriculum. The board game debuted for the public Aug. 31.

“It’s a colorful game. It also has a lot of health value. It teaches them about food,” she said. “They’re learning facts about health, about exercise, about your body.”

The game involves earning golden tickets by rolling dice featuring nutritious food items; answering pop quiz questions in categories such as cafeteria, science lab and cool facts; landing on squares with trivia and fitness prompts; and performing exercises such as push-ups, toe touches, frog jumps, jumping jacks, crunches and stretches. As many as eight people can play at a time.

CEO/inventor Liz Northcutt said her own children inspired her to create the game.

Colt Elementary fifth-grade students Ezra Northan (left) and Haydyn Long perform a fitness challenge while playing the newly launched Lunch Box Kids board game, which teaches nutrition and good health choices in an interactive way. Staff photo by Connie Swinney
Colt Elementary fifth-grade students Ezra Northan (left) and Haydyn Long perform a fitness challenge while playing the newly launched Lunch Box Kids board game, which teaches nutrition and good health choices in an interactive way. Staff photo by Connie Swinney

“I’ve been in health and fitness my whole life. I remember being in my son’s room kicking around all the toy’s one day, and I thought there is really no health and fitness stuff out there for kids; nothing they can engage in.”

Over two years, she tested and tweaked the game to include characters she modeled after people and even pets in her life.

“The game is all about trying to get onto a kid’s level, where the child at a young age can learn about health and fitness all on their own,” Northcutt said. “It teaches them about carbohydrates, about whole foods, processed foods, macro-nutrients, protein, how to keep their body’s strong through exercise.”

Northcutt spent a year demonstrating a pilot of her game across the state, where about 50 elementary schools in the Austin, Dallas and Houston areas and the local Colt Elementary School have incorporated the game into physical education curriculum.

The next step involves motivating families to purchase their own games.

“We’re so confined in our homes. We’ve got the children inside on the computer or with the technology, keeping them quiet. They really do have all the energy and want to use it,” Northcutt said. “They can get the moms and dads engaged with it. It’s a universal game, and the kids seem to love it very much.”

Johnson recently gathered a handful of students to test their knowledge and agility before she debuted the board game to the rest of her classes.

Colt Elementary fifth-grade student Lyndsey Schwope embraced the health value of the learning tool.

“I like playing it because it teaches you some exercises,” Schwope said. “After you’re done playing, you’re kind of tired. You’re pumped up, and you want to go around and be active.”

The game is available to the public for purchase for $55 at Hill Country Dance and Cheer, 910 Ninth St. Go to www.playLBK.com for more information or to make an online order.

connie@thepicayune.com