Paper Doll



Children construct lifesize paper dolls and use them to discuss what PKU is, what "Yes" and "No" foods are, and do some role playing to learn to explain PKU to others.


After completing this activity, children will be able to:

  • state protein foods will affect growth in the following ways: They will make me sick, I won't grow well, I won't grow big and strong, I won't feel well, I won't be able to think as well or learn as well.
  • have an explanation of PKU for others (i.e., I can't eat certain foods because I am allergic, they make me sick, they are not good for me.)
  • identify "yes" and "no" foods on the PKU diet.
  • state they drink a 'special' milk which helps them have strong muscles and good blood phe levels. (It provides protein that is low in phenylalanine and is necessary to grow.)


  1. Each child will construct a lifesize paper doll by having his/her outline traced on a piece of paper. He/she will cut out the outline and color in hair, eyes, mouth, clothes, etc.
  2. Using the paper dolls in groups, the children will discuss similarities and differences (like hair color, eyes, etc). These will provide examples of traits a person is born with and will have throughout life.
  3. When told that one of the paper dolls has PKU and is on a special diet, the group will be led in a discussion of how that doll might have 'gotten' PKU. The diet will be described and why there is a need for a low phe food pattern will be explained.
  4. Using the paper dolls in a role playing situation, the children can then explain PKU and the PKU diet to friends/relatives/ teachers/parents/etc.


Large pieces of paper


  • Use the paper doll in role playing situations to explain PKU, to make food choices, to discuss ways to handle social situations.
  • Plan "pretend" meals, tea parties, and snacks for the paper doll.



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