Happy Health App: Portion Sizes, Food Choices and Scoring
Happy Health is a game which helps you to learn more about making healthy meal choices. Here, we explain more about the game and how you can play it to get a great high score!
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In the game, as in real life, food will provide you with energy. Tasks that your character does will use up energy. Some foods will provide more energy than others, and some tasks will use up more energy than others. The aim of the game is to choose food throughout the day which provides just enough energy for the tasks you select.
To keep the game simple, you only have three meals a day, there is no option to have snacks between meals. You can add snacks such as chocolate, sweets or crisps to these meals.
Happy Health helps you to choose meals throughout the day. These meals will provide energy for the tasks that your character in the game does throughout the day.
If you choose too little food, or the energy in the food you choose is low, then your energy will fall too low as well. If, on the other hand, you choose food that is very high in energy, and there is a lot of this type of food in each meal, then your energy level will be too high.
In Happy Health, each item of food or drink that you choose is one portion. This means, that if you have a plate of food, this item will cover about one quarter of your plate. So a full plate of food will have four food or drink items.
Calories and Food Groups
All food and drink contains energy. We call each unit of energy a ‘calorie’. A glass of milk, for example, has 160 calories, and a chocolate bar has much more – about 450 calories. Water is unusual in that it has zero calories.
It is important to eat a wide selection of foods. The more different foods you eat, the more healthy your meals will be. In Happy Health we think about five food groups:
- starch (potatoes, rice, bread)
- fruit and vegetables
- dairy (milk and cheese)
- protein (meat and fish)
- sugars and fats
It is important to eat food from all of these groups. This means that it is fine for you to eat chocolate, so long as you also choose food from all the other groups too.
Scoring in the Game
There are a small number of different ways to gain a score in the game.
A ‘Keeping it in the Green’!
Once you have chosen all your food choices, the game will run through the day’s tasks and meals. When your character eats food, their energy levels will rise. When your character performs tasks, your energy level will fall.
Your energy is shown as the green and red bar. While your energy is in the green part of the bar you will gain points. If your energy goes too low, or too high, into the red ends of the bar, you will lose points. The aim is to keep your energy level in the green throughout the game.
B Unique Food Choices
You will score points for each food choice you make, but you only score points once for each food choice. For example, if you choose pizza for breakfast, lunch and dinner, you will score 1 point. If you choose cereal for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch, and curry for dinner, you will score 3 points.
C Food Groups
Food groups are where you will score a lot of points. Your score from A and B (energy levels and food choices), will be multiplied by the number of food groups you have chosen.
So, let’s say that you scored 10 points from A and B.
If, for all your meals, you had made food choices from only one food group, your final score would be 10.
1 x 10 = 10
If you had chosen food items from all 5 food groups, you would have a final score of 50!
5 x 10 = 50
And that would be great!
Build a Challenge
After you have played a few rounds of the Happy Health challenges, you can build your own challenges! This part of the game gives you the option to create your own tasks and meals, and add them at any of the time slots.
In the normal challenge, a day typically looks like this:
10:00 Your first task
15:00 Your second task
In Build a Challenge you have the option to add tasks and meals to any of these time slots. This means you can have 5 meals a day, or no meals at all!
When you choose a task for a timeslot, you have the option to set the number of calories for that task.
Calories are the amount of energy that task requires.
If you set the number to a low value, such as 100 calories, your character would only need a small amount, or low energy, food to give them enough energy to complete the task. If you set the calories to a high value, such as 1000, your character would need a lot of high energy food to ensure their energy levels do not drop too low.
Achievements are the rewards you get for completing certain activities in the game.
Most of the achievements are about doing well and making the healthiest choices, as well as completing all the challenges.
There are also some achievements for doing the ‘wrong’ thing, such as having too much or too little energy during a challenge. These achievements are rewarding you for learning and understanding how having the wrong food plan for a high energy or low energy day can result in having too many or too few calories.