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4 Healthy Eating Games for Kids

“I don’t eat broccoli!”
“This looks funny!”
“I don’t like it!”

Oy! The cries of picky kids! If you’re like most parents, you’ve probably tried everything to get your kids to eat healthy only to be rejected time after time. But parents, don’t give up just yet; your troubles may finally be over. New research reveals children will eat more fruits and vegetables if healthy eating is made into a game or contest. Don’t believe us? Give it a try! Here are some fun games to encourage your kids to eat healthy:

Crunch a Color: Created by a mom, Crunch a Color® is the award-winning healthy eating game that makes mealtime fun! Kids earn points based on what THEY choose to eat for the day. They can even earn bonus points for trying new foods and practicing good manners (e.g., setting the table, clearing the table, starting a conversation). Your little ones will have fun racking up points while trying new foods, learning how to eat healthy, and practicing good table manners. Healthy eating has never been so easy and rewarding.

Blindfolded Taste Test: Create a game that encourages children to taste and identify healthy foods. Prepare healthy snacks like carrots and hummus, celery and peanut butter or unique vegetables like radishes, Brussels sprouts or squash for your children to taste while blindfolded. See how many healthy foods your children can identify, or see which sibling can guess the ingredients first. Taste testing is a tried and true technique to get hesitant children to try new foods. It’s so fun they’ll completely forget they might not even like some of the ingredients!

Red-light, Green-light: Kids love the red-light, green-light game on the playground, but you can also play it in the kitchen to teach young kids about healthy foods. Make a short list of green-light "go" foods such as fruits and vegetables, and non-fried fish; red-light "stop" foods such as soda; and yellow-light "treat" foods such as whole-grain, chia muffins. Have your kids tally the number of green-light foods they eat for the week. At the end of the week, the child who ate the most green-light foods will be surprised with a small treat from the red-light food list. It makes it fun for kids and teaches them healthy eating principles that will last a lifetime.

Sticking to Healthy Snacks: Initiate a lunchtime game at your child’s school that rewards students for choosing healthy snacks. Students can earn a sticker for picking a fruit or vegetable during lunchtime or by bringing one from home. If a student brings in more than four healthy snacks over the course of the week, they’ll earn an extra sticker! Have kids collect additional stickers along the way, and reward the student with the most stickers a prize at the end of the month.

Turning good nutrition into a game or contest makes it entertaining for kids, ends mealtime battles, and brings the whole family together for good, wholesome fun at the dinner table! Which healthy eating game will you play with your little ones?


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