Food and Nutrition Learning Ideas for Kids

Look up picky eaters in the dictionary and you’ll find my children. But, it’s not for our lack of trying. Jeff and I have always eaten healthy (“clean”); we want our picky eaters to know why it’s important to make healthy choices, and what food does in our bodies. Yes, we have a garden, yes we buy organic. Yes, Jeff even juices, and yes, we make our kids try a bite of everything. Only they still are picky. Which leads me to conclude that there is no perfect method for getting your kids to eat their vegetables. (But, you already knew that, didn’t you?)

It’s always good to have new ideas in your nutrition arsenal for teaching your kids about food and healthy eating. Here are some of mine.

Food Games

Food Fun makes healthy eating games for kids. Their three games are:

Food Moves

Food Flash

Food Farm

We tried Food Farm and found it fun and instructive. My city kids need to know where their food comes from, so it was a great to “pin the food” on it’s origin.

One of my favorite kid-friendly cookbooks is Bean Appetit. I love the author’s fun ideas for table talk, learning, and thematic food. To encourage trying new veggies, the book includes a game called Bean-Go, which you can print here. The idea is to see if you can get 5 vegetables in a row.

Veggiecation

Now, if you’re a teacher or a homeschooler, you’ll want to check out Veggiecation. It’s a curriculum that introduces kids to vegetables with presentations, activities, and experiences. You teach kids about one vegetable at a time, then do tastings. Kids can vote if they loved it, liked it, didn’t like, or didn’t try. If a child tried a veggie, they get a sticker to wear saying “I tried  . . . ”

I really like the Veggiecation program. First, I love the recipes that are included. And, second, I love the supplementary materials provided. You can get stickers, voting sheets, recipes, a coloring book, standards covered, and recipes for school lunch programs. Check out the Veggiecation blog for lots of great information, too.

Yummy Parmesan Roasted Broccoli Recipe from Veggiecation:

INGREDIENTS

3 Tbsp. Parmesan Cheese, grated

½ tsp. Oregano

1 clove Garlic, minced

2 Broccoli Crowns, cut into florets and blanched

4 Tbsp. Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a small bowl, combine the Parmesan cheese, oregano, garlic, salt and pepper.

In a large bowl, toss the blanched broccoli with the olive oil and cheese mixture.

Place the broccoli on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

Roast for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

But, WAIT, there’s more!

Here are even more online nutrition and healthy eating games.

FitWits

Fruit and Veggie Color Champions

Chickin Feed Store

Beanstalk Express

Play With Your Produce

Ed Said

What About Food Blogs?

There are about a bizillion food blogs – for kids and adults. Here are a few that I read every week . . .

Muffin Tin Mom

Food Art from Red Ted Art (not a food blog per say but I loved this post!)

Kelly the Kitchen Cop

Food Renegade 

Food For My Family

Colorado Bento

This Week for Dinner

The Organized Cook

Learning About Nutrition from Spell Outloud

Celebrate Food Day on October 24!!

>> Download Melissa Taylor’s printable book, DIY Lunchbox: Flip, Pick and Pack, to make lunchpacking easier and healthier.

  • http://www.redtedart.com maggy, red ted art

    Great post on exploring food and veggies!! And thank you for mentioning our crazy food creatures!

    Maggy

  • http://foodwithkidappeal.blogspot.com jenna Food w/ Kid Appeal

    the veggiecation program is awesome. it is amazing what happens to picky kids when they get with a class full of peers who are taste testing recipes. most give the vegetables a try and many who were haters cross over to the other side! if every public school adopted veggiecation for their primary students, our nation would be well on our way to growing nourished, healthy right sized kids. obesity rates would decline for sure!

    • http://imaginationsoup.net Melissa Taylor

      Amen to that, Jenna!

  • http://www.therapyandlearningservices.com Jennifer

    Love this for typical picky eaters….need to remember though that SOME picky eaters have a clinical problem that needs to be explored. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this post. Will be sharing on my FB page…https://www.facebook.com/therapyandlearningservicesinc.

    • http://imaginationsoup.net Melissa Taylor

      wow, thanks, Jennifer! You made my day!! :)

  • http://Pragmaticmom.com PragmaticMom

    I love the idea of healthy games to promote healthy food choices! My kids will have fun playing these! Great post!!

    • http://imaginationsoup.net Melissa Taylor

      thanks, Mia!

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  • http://www.spelloutloud.com Maureen

    Thanks for including my site in the list :)

  • http://wordplayhouse.com wordplayhouse®

    Many great links for teaching kids about nutrition here! Healthy eating and including the children in our own food growing and preparing is important in our home too. I think there is a growing interest in families eating healthier and more naturally. You are doing a wonderful part in spreading healthy eating knowledge.

  • http://mominmanagement.com Daria @ Mom in Management

    GREAT ideas!

  • http://www.evolvingmommy.com Catherine

    I’m in the same boat as you. I make, eat and buy healthy foods but my daughter still tries to be picky about what she eats. Thanks for the info!

  • http://momto2poshlildivas.blogsot.com Mom to 2 Posh lil Divas

    Oh, I have picky eaters too! Meal times are a nightmare. Thanks for all this fun & informative info.

  • http://thisweekfordinner.com jane (this week for dinner)

    thank you for the shout out! great post! :)

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  • http://www.mommy-labs.com Rashmie @ MommyLabs

    This post is a winner! My daughter loves cooking, loves asking questions about each ingredient and such.
    These games that you recommend, I must check out…

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