A fool-proof way to get children to accept the food we offer them is to get them more familiar with it. Using fruit and vegetables in games to teach kids about these foods’ nutritional facts and benefits is a fun and effective way to incorporate healthy eating habits into their lives. In this article, we’ll discuss some healthy eating games and ideas that are fun and educational for the whole family.
The foundations of healthy eating can be established by making fruits and vegetables a part of everyday life. However, playing games to familiarise children with healthy foods can do even more to help them recognise and appreciate them.
It’s important to consider the material and educational goal of the activities you choose. Try to use wood, fabric or recycled materials, as they are more eco-friendly than plastic. It is crucial to remember that the foods used in the game should be healthy and promote positive values in your children’s nutritional development.
Food group bingo
The “food groups” are one of the basic concepts kids should learn about healthy eating. As with everything else, it takes practice to learn which food belongs to which group. This easy game should help reinforce these concepts.
This version of bingo works exactly like a standard one, except for the fact that there are food items instead of numbers. You will need a call sheet for each of the food groups and 20 different bingo cards (depending on the number of players). The first player to make a horizontal or vertical line is the winner.
Here you can find a list of food groups and different kinds of food. You can add as many foods as you want for each group. However, keeping it in mind that we actually want our kids to learn and enjoy themselves, it is crucial to keep it as simple as possible. Always try to include foods kids can easily identify.
- Veggies: Tomato, Lettuce, Beetroot, Broccoli, Eggplant, Peas, Corn, Potatoes, Green beans
- Fruits: Strawberry, Watermelon, Grapes, Pear, Pineapple, Orange, Cherries, Banana, Apple
- Grains: Whole Wheat Bread, Rice, Whole Wheat Pasta, Quinoa, Oatmeal, Whole Meal Couscous, Whole Rye
- Protein: Fish, Prawns, Eggs, Peanuts, Chicken, Almonds, Black Beans, Tofu, Tuna Flakes
- Dairy: Milk, Cottage Cheese, Ice Cream, Mozzarella Cheese, Yoghurt, Sour Cream
- Herbs: Ginger, Cinnamon, Parsley, Rosemary, Turmeric, Basil, Coriander, Mint, Oregano
Create bingo cards with a selection from each group. Depending on the age of your kids, it’s a good idea to replace food names with images or icons.
A supplementary idea is once the kids are old enough and trying to learn a different language, you can replace the images with the foreign name, so you will be helping them learn new vocabulary while also emphasising healthy eating.
Choose my plate magnet
As we discussed in another article about improving kid’s food and nutrition, the Harvard Eating Plate is the latest trend in nutritional guidance. Implementing this information as a game is a great way to get kids to learn more about healthy eating.
The game is based on creating a big Healthy Eating Plate board, which can be hung on the fridge door (size of reference: A2). Then, you create as many individual foods of about a diameter of 2.5 cm. While deciding on which food to include in your game, consider your child’s age and try to choose those that you and your family are accustomed to; at least in the beginning. You can use the above list as a reference. Stick small magnets behind your creation and gather the family around!
We recommend asking kids to play this game by placing the food on the board before every meal if possible. That way, they can understand what they are eating each time and keep track of their healthy and balanced diet.