Making Good Choices

By John Goldberg

Just knowing what constitutes good choices is not enough. We need to make them consistently over time. That requires commitment and accountability.


This game is about making good choices regarding our eating habits and our health. It is a game within a game.


This game gives participants the opportunity to learn the importance of choices in every moment, and accountability for their own health.

Training Topics

  • Accountability
  • Decision making


  • Minimum: 3
  • Maximum: Any number
  • Best: 10-30


40 minutes, in two 20 minute rounds.


Healthy Eating for a Healthy Weight


  • Assorted candy
  • Assorted ready-to-eat vegetables


Candy bowls

Vegetable trays

Room Set up

Place candy bowls and vegetable trays within easy reach of all participants throughout the entire session.


Do not tell participants about the Making Good Choices game. This game is played throughout any other game, without the participants’ knowing about it until the first round.

Round One: Halfway through the other game, conduct round one of Making Good Choices as follows:

  • Ask participants if their health is important to them.
  • Ask if they think what they eat affects their health.
  • Ask what kinds of foods promote good health, and what kinds lead to poor health.
  • Form small groups.
  • Ask participants to discuss in their small groups what they ate so far and what their thinking process was when they made their choices about what to eat.
  • Distribute a copy of Healthy Eating for a Healthy Weight to each participant and ask them to read and discuss it in their small groups.
  • Reconvene the whole group.
  • Ask for volunteers to share about what they discussed in their small groups.

Round Two: Near, or at the end of the other game, conduct round two of Making Good Choices as follows:

  • Ask participants to discuss in small groups what they ate since the first round, what their thinking process was when they made their choices about what to eat, and whether they think they will make the same or different choices in the future.
  • Reconvene the whole group.


  • Ask for volunteers to share about what they discussed in their small groups.
  • Ask participants to choose one or more accountability buddies to check with in with them periodically after the game.
  • Ask participants to write a note to themselves about what eating choices they will make in the future.
  • Ask participants to fold the note and write the date of the day one month from today.
  • Ask participants to put the note in a place where they will remember to read it one month from today.

Learning Points

  1. Just knowing what foods are good for us is not enough to maintain a healthy diet.
  2. It is important to make good choices in every moment.
  3. Commitment and accountability are important parts of making good choices.

About the author:

John Goldberg provides training in leadership, communication, teamwork, and career and personal development. He served for seven years as Manager, Organization Development for a Fortune 500 company. John teaches at the University of California, Davis Graduate School of Management. He is active in the California Network of Learning Professionals. John lives in Sacramento with his wife and two children.

Contact: John Goldberg, MBA, 442 T Street, Sacramento, CA 95818-2122. Telephone: (916) 444-3353. Email: Website:


Healthy Eating for a Healthy Weight

A healthy lifestyle involves many choices. Among them, choosing a balanced diet or healthy eating plan. So how do you choose a healthy eating plan? Let’s begin by defining what a healthy eating plan is.

According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020, a healthy eating plan:

  • Emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products
  • Includes lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts
  • Is low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt (sodium), and added sugars
  • Stays within your daily calorie needs

Eat Healthfully and Enjoy It!

A healthy eating plan that helps you manage your weight includes a variety of foods you may not have considered. If “healthy eating” makes you think about the foods you can’t have, try refocusing on all the new foods you can eat—

Fresh, Frozen, or Canned Fruits ― don’t think just apples or bananas. All fresh, frozen, or canned fruits are great choices. Be sure to try some “exotic” fruits, too. How about a mango? Or a juicy pineapple or kiwi fruit! When your favorite fresh fruits aren’t in season, try a frozen, canned, or dried variety of a fresh fruit you enjoy. One caution about canned fruits is that they may contain added sugars or syrups. Be sure and choose canned varieties of fruit packed in water or in their own juice.

Fresh, Frozen, or Canned Vegetables ― try something new. You may find that you love grilled vegetables or steamed vegetables with an herb you haven’t tried like rosemary. You can sauté (panfry) vegetables in a non-stick pan with a small amount of cooking spray. Or try frozen or canned vegetables for a quick side dish — just microwave and serve. When trying canned vegetables, look for vegetables without added salt, butter, or cream sauces. Commit to going to the produce department and trying a new vegetable each week.

Calcium-rich foods ― you may automatically think of a glass of low-fat or fat-free milk when someone says “eat more dairy products.” But what about low-fat and fat-free yogurts without added sugars? These come in a wide variety of flavors and can be a great dessert substitute for those with a sweet tooth.

A new twist on an old favorite ― if your favorite recipe calls for frying fish or breaded chicken, try healthier variations using baking or grilling. Maybe even try a recipe that uses dry beans in place of higher-fat meats. Ask around or search the internet and magazines for recipes with fewer calories ― you might be surprised to find you have a new favorite dish!