Ready for a good Food Fright? The premise for Food Fright is a “Fear Factor” style competition where the teams are pitted against one another to eat gross looking foods in the quickest amount of time possible. Food, a contest, something grotesque? This is the trifecta when it comes to the teens at my branch. I knew this would be a winner and set to planning
For my program, teens in grades six through twelve were randomly divided into two equal teams. The meeting room was set up with three tables– one table had the food on it labeled with what it was supposed to be (kitty litter, cat vomit, dried scabs, squished roaches, turds, and worms) and was facing the other two tables that had plates, napkins, bowls and spoons set up for each team. The team tables were color coded, red and blue, so that I could keep track of which team ate what foods and completed which tasks.
The teens were brought into the room and they sat against the far wall while they learned the rules of the game. On each team’s table was a set of cards with the names of the different foods written on them. The teams were sent to the side of the room where their tables were set up. On “GO!”, one person from each team was sent to the table and had to flip over a card in their deck. This wa the food item they had to eat. They had three choices: eat the item as quickly as they could and receive their time, pass the item off to another teammate and receive a 1-minute penalty plus the time that person received, or the whole team could refuse to eat it and receive a 4-minute penalty. After they ate the item, they had to go to the opposite side of the room and not tell anyone what the food tasted like—doing so would result in a 10-minute penalty. The team who completed the challenge in the least amount of time was the winning team and received prizes.
Looking at the foods that were provided, kitty litter, cat vomit, dried scabs, squished roaches, turds, and worms, it is no wonder that many of the teens were apprehensive to eat when it was their turn. There were lots of cheers and gags heard throughout the room. However, everything on the list was quite tasty as the foods consisted of the following: Kitty litter= vanilla cake with tootsie roll cat droppings; cat vomit= chunky guacamole; dried scabs= dried cranberries; squished roaches= dates with filling; turds= krispy treats dipped in chocolate studded with candy corn; worms= molded Jell-O. At the end of the activity, I did tell the teens what the foods were and they were able to taste the foods they hadn’t had a chance to try. At the end of the program, there wasn’t any food left!
This is a fun program and great for any time of the year, but especially around Halloween. Teens can often be too cool for the traditional Halloween activities but this program allows them to act like kids, be grossed out, and get into the spirit of Halloween while still retaining their cool factor. But programmers beware! It is very labor intensive. It took me a lot of time to make the foods and get everything prepared for the event. However, it is worth the effort because the teens were totally grossed out and disgusted by the foods which was what I was going for. I would recommend using plastic tablecloths on the tables and the floor around the tables to make for easy clean up. It will be a bit messy. I would also have several trashcans available—you may have a few players who decide that they can’t stomach a mouthful of worms after all!