Role Playing




Practice role playing. Each group acts out their solution to a situation pertaining to PKU.



After completing this activity, children will be able to:

  • state their diet needs to friends, relatives, or others as necessary (i.e. teacher, coach, etc.)
  • explore options for managing PKU diets in social situations
  • identify foods and/or meals that are too high in phe and suggest alternative food substitutions



Explain: "Having PKU is not something you need to hide. You will need to be able to explain your diet to others. But, you only need to tell as much as you feel comfortable telling. The easist way to explain PKU is that you have food allergies and can't eat some foods. If you merely say "I am on a diet" people may say, "You don't look like you need to be on a diet." Then you would have to respond with more information. Today we are going to practice what we might do or say in a variety of situations."

Pair the participants into groups of 2 or 3. Given a card describing a situation, each group discusses potential solutions to their problem or ways they would handle the situation.

After an allotted amount of time, the group presents it's situation and solutions to the entire class. Try to ask questions about why they would handle the situation in that way and what other alternatives exist.

A list of suggested situations follows:

  • You are having a party at school. The teacher is passing out Kool-Aid, cupcakes, and apple wedges. What do you do?
  • You new friend wants to know what PKU is. What do you tell your friend? She also wants to know why you drink your milk all the time. What do you say?
  • You are visiting a friend's house for the day. Your mom makes you a special lunch to bring along, but you forgot it. What do you do?
  • You are visiting your aunt, who doesn't know much about PKU. She gives you a cheese sandwich and says a little won't hurt you. What do you do?
  • You are eating lunch at school with your best friend. He wants to trade his turkey sandwich for your jelly sandwich. What do you do?
  • Your birthday is next week. What treats will you bring to school?



  • Index cards with situations on them (several suggestions are included above, or you can use your own ideas)
  • Pencils and paper (if needed by the groups during the activity)



You can help your child develop these skills by allowing him or her to explain PKU to friends and teachers, instead of doing it yourself. Before the actual explanation you may want to talk about what your child will say and help them think of an easy way to say it.

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