Role Playing




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



After completing this activity, participants will be able to:

  • have an explanation for family, friends, and relatives under different circumstances regarding special diet needs in the PKU diet
  • name 3-5 consequences of high phenylalanine levels in the blood
  • explore options for managing PKU diets in social 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:

  • Suzy is always pestering you about your diet. Today in the cafeteria line you pass up all the foods you can't have and select the salad, fruit, vegetables and your formula. Suzy keeps asking if you ever get tired of fruits and vegetables. She also wants to know why you bring your milk and what it tastes like.
  • Your child has PKU and is starting a new school. You meet with the teacher to let the teacher know what your child studied in the last school. What else should you tell the teacher?
  • You have a friend who is new in school. She is a vegetarian. How might you help her get settled in school?
  • Your new school friend is going through the cafeteria line for the first time. She refuses the meat and the cook wants to know why. She starts to tell the cook she can't eat meat but some of your classmates start to ask her why. She seems shy, how could you help in this situation?
  • One of your classmates has diabetes. "It's no big deal," your classmate says. "I've had it since I was little and I've learned to manage my diet." You tell him you are on a PKU diet. Is it a big deal? How do you both feel when people ask you about your diets?
  • Your teacher asks you to plan the class potluck. What kinds of foods would you ask people to bring and how would you know what foods were OK for you to eat?
  • You are invited to a slumber party for your friend's birthday. Your friend calls and says "It will be so fun, we will go out for pizza and ice cream then stay up all night and eat cake. Can you come?" Could you accept the invitation? What would you do about the meals that are planned?
  • Everyday you pack your own lunch for school selecting just the right foods to fit into your diet. Today somehow you forgot your lunch on the kitchen counter and don't have any money. Your friend offers you part of his lunch. You are starving but all he has in his lunch is a peanut butter sandwich, a bag of chips, an orange, four cookies and milk. What do you do?
  • You and your friends plan to eat lunch off-campus. Melanie suggests Hot Dog Heaven and everyone agrees. What would you order? How would you explain to your friends why you weren't ordering a hot dog, when everyone else was?
  • You are in a cooking class at school and as part of the meat unit everyone in the class must prepare a beef dish and sample each other's dishes. Your grade for this unit is based not only on your cooking but on your participation in the taste test. What do you do?



  • 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 by the activity)

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