Playing With Food - Action for Healthy Kids
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Playing With Food

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Promote healthy eating habits by making food fun!  Fruits and veggies aren’t just for consuming, they’re for crafting and creating. When children make food fun and familiar, they are more likely to consume it in the future.  Curious crafters can become adventurous eaters!

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Encourage curiosity surrounding food by encouraging children to play with their food. Be creative with your excess food to minimize food waste and teach about reducing impact and recycling. 

Color Wheel Crafting: Eat (and craft!) the rainbow! Eating fruits and veggies of a variety of colors helps ensure that you receive necessary vitamins, minerals and nutrients needed in a healthy diet! Use your fruits and veggies to design a delicious color wheel! Missing any colors? Talk about what fruits and veggies you could purchase to fill in that gap.  

Color Kabobs: Create repeating patterns on wooden skewers with different colored fruits or veggies. Challenge your family to make (and eat) a kabob with all of the colors of the rainbow! Fruit kabobs make excellent snacks and veggie kabobs are great for throwing on the grill for dinner! 

Veggie Construction: Use cut up vegetables (carrots, celery, peppers and more to create pictures! See if you can guess what your partner is building! 

Painting with Produce:  Don’t let those leftover pieces of produce go to waste! Dip them in paint and use the leftover ends of a bunch of celery to create beautiful flower artwork. Turn your favorite leftover cut up fruits and veggies into creative and fun stamps by dipping them in tempera paint. Apples, peppers, okra and corn make really neat prints! 

Funny Face Breakfast:  Cut up a variety of fruits and serve with pancakes! Before eating, encourage your child to express their creativity by using the fruit to turn their pancake into a funny face! Then, encourage them to try all of the fruits they used in their art project! Or, draw an oval on a piece of paper and let children decorate it as a face before eating!


Eat The Rainbow: Use a fun chart to track how many fruits and vegetables of different colors you’re eating each day, such as this one. Can you fill the whole rainbow?


Let children look through the pantry and fridge to find new fruits and veggies to create art with! This feeds their curiosity and helps them be part of the planning process. Check out the produce section at the grocery store for new and weird fruits and vegetables that may be fun to play with.

Incorporating the use of creativity and courage to try new things can help children develop skills in self-awareness and self-confidence. Bravery to try new things is a powerful skill.

Empower children to try new things! Even just by playing with a new food and learning its texture, smell and feel, they’re being exposed and will be more likely to try it in the future, even if they aren’t willing now.

Create a colorful food art display at your next party or event! Involve children in the creation of an engaging display that will lead people to the snack table.

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