Guest Blog: Connie Evers – Fun Food Games To Guide Kids Toward Better Eating Habits
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By Connie Evers MS, RD, LD – Nutrition for Kids

Connie’s Healthy Eating Blog – Food Games!

Four fun food games help guide kids towards better eating habits

A fun way to combine food and fitness is to play active games that teach kids food facts and reinforce the importance of eating a healthy diet.

Move & Make a MyPlate
If you are not familiar with the new MyPlate food guide, you can check it out at www.choosemyplate.gov. To teach the food groups and their correct placement on MyPlate, start with a large circle in the Gym or on the playground. Cut out lots of different food pictures from grocery flyers, magazines and gardening catalogs and place all over the gym or playground. When you blow your whistle or yell “go,” the kids have to:

1) find and gather up all the food pictures, then
2) place the foods in the proper categories in the circle to form a “MyPlate.”

Fruit, Fruit Veggie (or Veggie, Veggie Fruit)
Instead of playing “Duck, Duck Goose” with younger children, play “Fruit, Fruit, Veggie (or veggie, veggie, fruit).” The tricky part is that they have to think up specific fruits and vegetables as they play the game. So, for instance, one child may play “apple, apple, broccoli” while another may prefer “carrot, carrot, cantaloupe.”

For each round, the child who is “it” needs to come up with a different combination of fruits and vegetables. This helps the children to learn and recall a variety of different fruits and vegetables. Follow this game with a fruit or vegetable tray for tasting and snacking.

Jump Rope Rhymes
Jumping rope is a great physical activity that strengthens the heart and helps build strong bones. Incorporate nutrition education by having kids jump to nutrition-themed jump rope rhymes. Below are two examples. Challenge kids to come up with other fun rhymes.

Cinderella, dressed in silk,
Poured herself a glass of milk.
How many sips of milk did she drink?
(Count how many jumps the child can complete without a miss.)

Eating MyPlate at my dinner,
Name each group and be the winner.
(followed by the child calling out a food from a different food group for each jump, e.g. rice/jump, peas/jump, mango/jump, salmon/jump, yogurt/jump, etc.)

Throw it at the kids!
One of my favorite nutrition education games is to take inexpensive plastic balls (like you find in play areas) and write nutrition questions with a sharpie on each ball. I toss those out to groups of kids and whoever catches the ball gets to answer the question. If they don’t know the answer, they can toss the ball to someone else. I give out stickers, pencils or other incentives for correct answers.

I’ve included 10 sample trivia questions below to get you started.

1. Name all five food groups.
(Answer: fruits, vegetables, grains, protein foods, dairy foods)

2. Found in whole grains, beans, fruits and vegetables, this keeps your digestive system moving along.
(Answer: Fiber)

3. Where can you go to find information on how much to eat from each food group? (Answer: choosemyplate.gov)

4. Your body is made up mostly of _________.
(Answer: Water, Keep hydrated!)

5. This meal “wakes up your brain” and helps you to think and learn.
(Answer: breakfast)

6. Every day, you need this nutrient to build new cells so you can grow, replace worn-out cells, and even heal your scraped up knee.
(Answer: Protein)

7. This important bone-building nutrient is found in dairy products, fortified soy beverages, almonds and even dark green vegetables such as kale and broccoli.
(Answer: Calcium)

8. Eating colorful fruits and vegetables is important for good health. Name a fruit or vegetable from each color group: blue, green, yellow, orange and red.

9. What is the minimum amount of physical activity that you should fit in each day? (Answer: 1 hour)

10. Nuts, avocados and olives are examples of healthy ______.
(Answer: fats)


To learn more about Connie, check out the links below:

Web:
Nutritionforkids.com

Books:
Amazon

Social Media:
twitter.com/nutritionkids
Facebook.com/nutritionforkids

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Truth on Health

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