The following program to help kids learn to eat fruits and vegetables is based on the idea that all children can learn to enjoy a wide range of foods. Eating is a learned process and as with all learning, kids need to be positively encouraged to try new things. On average kids will try a new food 7 to 10 times before they like it, so making this time a fun experience helps families and educators respect the child’s growth in exploring new foods and tastes.
The following games remove adult assumptions from the issue of what kids will or will not eat. Kids need to be exposed to new fruits and vegetables in a way that is comfortable for them. Kids are generally not picky eaters but they are kids learning to like new foods.
Make sure that when getting kids to try new foods that there aren’t any dietary restrictions beforehand. Kids may have food allergies – for example nuts, dairy, eggs, legumes, sesame seeds are often found in hummus, etc. So do check. Kids may also have cultural or religious reasons for not eating certain foods.
Start by exposing kids to a new food before it is brought to the table for dinner. Kids are already exposed to marketing of food through the media so why not try your own hand at marketing. Have kids go to the supermarket with you and pick out fruits and vegetables that they would like to try.
About the Healthy Kids Community Challenge
As part of Ontario’s Healthy Kids Strategy, the goal of the Healthy Kids Community Challenge (HKCC) is to support the well-being of our children to help create communities where it’s easy for children to lead healthier lives.
The 45 Ontario communities taking part in the HKCC will receive resources from the province including funding, training and social marketing tools to help promote healthy eating, physical activity and healthy behaviours for children.
With the support of local partners, HKCC communities will develop programs, policies, environmental supports and events focusing on three themes. Approximately every nine months, a new theme will be launched that relates to two of the key factors associated with healthy weights in children: physical activity and healthy eating.
Theme 1: Run. Jump. Play. Every Day.
This theme was launched in September 2015 and encourages physical activity through a mix of active play, active transportation, sports and structured physical activity.
Theme 2: Water Does Wonders
This theme encourages kids and families to reach for water when thirsty instead of sugar-sweetened beverages. It’s the natural, healthy and free choice. Other healthy options such as plain milk and fortified, unsweetened soy beverages are also encouraged.
Theme 3: Choose to Boost Veggies and Fruit
This theme encourages kids and families to eat healthier and to make vegetables and fruits part of their everyday lives. Whether fresh, frozen or canned, fruits and vegetables help provide children and families with the vitamins, minerals, dietary fibre, and overall energy needed to be physically active.
FoodReach is proud to support the Healthy Kids Community Challenge by creating a series of activities that encourages children to discover and explore the world of fruits and vegetables. Click here to learn more about the Health Kids Community Challenge.
Games & Activities
- Silly Fruits and Vegetables Names (for kids aged 3 and up)
- The Sour Food Game (for kids aged 3 and up)
- The Smiley Face Game (for kids aged 1 and up)
- Blind Taste Game (for kids aged 6 and up)
- Make Your Own Guacamole (for kids aged 5 and up)
- Signature Salads Workshop (for grades 3-8 and grades 9-12)
- Growing Sweet Potato for Younger Students
- Rainbow Mysteries
- Rainbow Mysteries Worksheet
- Rainbow Mysteries Worksheet (for younger children)
- Market Sleuth Worksheet
- Fruit and Veggie Sleuth Worksheet