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Go, Slow, Woah: Grades 5-8

In today’s video, follow along with SNAP-Ed Senior Nutritionist, Wanda, to learn about Go Foods, Slow Foods, and Whoa Foods and how to use them in a meal!

Think about a stoplight.

The green light means go, the yellow light means slow down, and the red light means stop. This is the same for “Go,” “Slow,” and “Whoa” foods. “Go” means these are the healthiest foods. Go ahead and eat them. “Slow” means, slow down a little. These aren’t the best foods, but they’re not the worst. “Whoa” means stop and think about what you’re doing. These foods are not healthy for your body, and we should not eat them often.

Before we can talk about “Go”, “Slow,” and “Whoa” foods we have to understand the criteria for separating the food groups. Each food group is separated by how much solid fat (like butter or lard), sodium, and added sugars are in a food. Solid fat is also known as unhealthy fats and can contribute to heart disease. Too much salt can lead to high blood pressure, and added sugar adds empty calories, changes our mood, and can causes cavities.

“Go” foods are the lowest in solid fat, salt, and added sugars. For the vegetable group, that means whole vegetables and low sodium 100% vegetable juice. “Go” foods in the fruit group include whole fruits, dried fruits with no added sugar, and canned fruits in 100% juice or water. “Go” foods in the grain group include whole-grain pastas, breads, and cereals. Making half your grains whole grain is really important!

Dairy “Go” foods include fortified soy milk and low-fat dairy. Low-fat dairy includes low-fat yogurt and low-fat cheese. Protein group “Go” foods include lean beef and pork, fish, chicken (with no skin), unsalted nuts and seeds, dried beans with no salt or fat added. Preparing these foods should be done by baking broiling or grilling to limit extra fat.

“Slow” foods have some solid fats, salt, and added sugar, but are still okay. They were processed more than “Go” foods, but not as much as “Whoa” foods. “Slow” foods in the vegetable group include vegetables cooked in vegetable oil, and 100% vegetable juice. “Slow” foods in the fruit group include fruit canned in light syrup,100% fruit juice, and dried fruit with sugar added. Have you noticed some differences between the “Go” and “Slow” foods?

Grain Group “Slow” foods include all the processed grains. Things like white bread and white pasta, and low sugar cereal. Compared to the “Go” whole grains, these are processed more and have lost some of their health benefits.
“Slow” foods in the dairy group include fortified almond milk and rice milk and these are “Slow” because they don’t have as much protein as regular milk. Whole milk dairy products are “Slow” because they have more fat content.

Protein group “Slow” foods include low sodium processed meats beans with fat and salt added, chicken with the skin on, and breaded baked fish. These protein foods need to be baked broiled a grill for the best health benefits.

“Whoa” foods are up next! “Whoa” foods have a lot of solid fat, salt, and sugar and should be only eaten once or twice a month. These foods are the most processed, therefore they are the most unhealthy. In the vegetable group that includes vegetables with cheese sauce, any fried vegetable, with or without breading and any vegetable with solid fat.

Fruit group “Whoa” foods are no better! They include fruit canned and heavy syrup, fruit leathers, gummy fruits, sherbet, and frozen fruit juice pops.

The Grain group “Whoa” foods include fried rice, sweetened breads, chips, cookies, sweetened cereals, and sweetened popcorn.

“Whoa” foods in the dairy group include flavored milk, processed cheese, cream cheese, ice cream, and milkshakes.

The protein group “Whoa” foods include hot dogs, candied nuts, bacon, and anything made but solid fat or fried. All the “Whoa” foods contain the Heart Attack trio: solid fats, salt, and added sugar.

Try to pick “Go” and “Slow” foods most of the time have “Whoa” foods only once in a while.

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