Starting healthy habits at an early age will help your child live a long, healthy life. But getting in the servings of each food group recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics each day can be tricky. If you have a picky or curious eater, nutrition games for kids are a great way to learn and have fun. Encourage your kids to experiment with new food, flavors, colors, and textures.
The goal is to encourage your children to eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables per day in a fun way. Check out these nutrition games for kids that you can start today using common household items and fresh fruits and veggies.
1. Letter of the Day/Week Theme
Try incorporating the letter they’re learning at school as your theme at home. If the letter of the week is “A,” find different ways you and your child can eat apples such as applesauce, roasted apples, apple chips, apple butter, sauteed apples, apples with peanut butter, apples with granola and yogurt.
3. Name that Food
Grab a piece of fabric and put some fruits and veggies in a bag then call your children to the table. Blindfold each one of them and ask them to guess what the food is using their senses by feeling, smelling and tasting it. We’re sure this will make for some good laughs!
4. Food Faces
Children love to play with their food. So let them! This is one way to encourage tasting and trying new food. Present an assortment of foods and have them use all the ingredients to make the silliest face.
5. Food Painting
This is going to get messy, but it’s ok! Stir food coloring or brightly colored juice into plain yogurt. Have kids paint with their fingers on paper, in a high chair or even the bathtub for easy cleanup.
6. Edible Game Pieces
Cover a board game like checkers or tic-tac-toe with plastic wrap and use fruit, crackers or cereal as the game pieces. Once a player jumps a piece they get to eat it.
7. Create Little People
We think your child will have fun creating a little veggie or fruit guy. Let their imagination loose with bowls of different kinds of cut up and whole fruits and veggies. Use toothpicks to hold them together. Once they’re done, let them eat their creation or save them for lunch or dinner. Bonus: Make it extra tasty and fun by offering “swimming pool” bowls of dipping sauce. Sauces can include salad dressings or yogurt.
8. Dig Deep
Deepen your child’s understanding by teaching them where their food comes from. While we’re stuck at home, virtual tours are the next best thing. A good place to start is https://www.farmfood360.ca. Children can learn about milk and cheese, grains, eggs, and more.
9. Sensory Taste Game
Take a minute to teach your child about their taste buds. A good video to start with is How Your Tongue Works. Then grab a muffin tin and fill each hole with food in the salty, sour, sweet, spicy and bitter categories. The object of the game is to try and talk about all the flavors. This is a great way to encourage adventurous eaters. You can also talk about flavors at the dinner table.
10. Start a Victory Garden
Don’t discard or throw away your vegetable scraps. If you cut them the right way, they can regrow easily in a shallow dish of water. The bottom stump of lettuce, onions, garlic, celery, bok choy, lemongrass, ginger, and potatoes will easily regrow. Certain herbs can regrow from their stem including basil, cilantro, rosemary, and lemon balm. For vegetable tops, you can regrow carrots and pineapples. Once they root, transplant them to pots. Show them off to your kids every day to see how much they have grown and to check their water. In no time, you’ll have yourself a little garden.
Try incorporating these fun nutrition games for kids into your everyday life and let us know what’s working for you and your family. At Carithers Pediatric Group, we’re committed to providing our patients with quality comprehensive care. That includes helping with issues like nutrition. If you have questions or concerns about your child’s health, call our Riverside office at (904) 387-6200 or our Southside office at (904) 997-0023 to make an appointment.