This post was contributed by Toad Hall Nursery
Providing the right nutrition for your child is essential to ensuring that he or she grows and develops appropriately with age. Despite this, parents often struggle to outsmart picky eaters. That’s why it’s important to teach children from a young age about the benefits of making healthy choices: where food products come from and what encompasses a balanced diet.
One way to do this is to think of new and fun ways to get children involved. As parents, we all know that young children learn best through play. But educating and entertaining your child need not be expensive and complex. Sometimes the simplest of ideas can have the biggest impact.
Here are two creative games and play ideas that’ll capture your child’s attention and make healthy eating fun:
Veggie Craft Investigation
First, place several fruits and vegetables inside a bag and ask your child to guess an ingredient by touch, smell or even taste. Not only does this capture a child’s interest through exploring and investigating, it gives parents the opportunity to talk about healthy foods and where they might have come from: were they bought at the supermarket or from a local farmer’s market, did they grow on a tree or underground?
Encourage creative thinking by providing fun, novelty fruit and vegetable names. Colin the Cauliflower, Shelley the Strawberry and Brucey the Beetroot all work well.
Once you’re done, cut up the fruit and vegetables into smaller chunks. These can then be dipped into a selection of coloured paint and pressed onto paper or card. When dry, the healthy eating art can be laminated and displayed for decorative purposes or made into craft work.
Bin or Win!
If you’ve already had a go at the Veggie Craft Investigation, the Bin or Win shopping list task serves as a great follow up opportunity. If you have a supermarket food catalogue handy, ask your child to identify and locate ingredients listed on your weekly shopping list.
With some glue, scissors and two separate sheets of card functioning as either ‘Bin’ or ‘Win’, children can then decide where to place the ingredients – will they discard unhealthy products and opt for healthy goods?
Discuss your child’s choices, providing and explaining alternatives where necessary. With any luck, children will have developed a taste for certain fruits and vegetables during the Veggie Investigation game and may now categorise these ingredients as treats.
How powerful is play in early years education?
The Early Years Foundation Stage or EYFS (a play-based framework for children from birth to 5 years that all nurseries and childcare settings have to follow), recognises that play is the most powerful aspect of a child’s learning journey. For this reason, parents and early years’ nursery providers should be creating and implementing fun and innovative learning opportunities in order to transform children’s learning and development.
Now’s your chance to get creative! Why not try the interactive tasks listed above or brainstorm your own play and game ideas in order to encourage your child to eat healthily?
Toad Hall Nursery Group is a chain of 15 day nurseries that provides childcare and early education for children from the age of 3 months to school age.
More Fruit Activities
You might also like these fun fruit and veg themed ideas from us here at In The Playroom
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