Talking about healthy eating for kids is really important, since it can have a direct impact on the way children perceive food, directly influencing their development and well-being. A balanced and nutritious diet is essential for the proper functioning of the body, promoting physical and mental health, and strengthening the immune system.
Both at home and at school, it is crucial to create an environment that helps children learn about healthy food choices in an engaging manner. That’s why today we’re bringing you some playful healthy food activities for preschoolers!
How to Get Kids to Eat Healthy
You can use playful and interactive activities to encourage children to make appropriate nutritional choices. These activities spark their interest, encouraging the exploration of healthy foods and fostering a positive relationship with eating.
4 Healthy Food Activities for Preschoolers
Below, we present some suggestions for playful activities about healthy eating for kids. All of these activities were designed by experts in early childhood development and can be found on the Kinedu platform for educators and the Kinedu app for parents. Check them out!
1. Nutritious Food Collage
- Images of healthy foods (from magazines, newspapers, prints)
- Sheet of paper or cardstock
How to do it
In this activity, children are invited to create a collage of healthy foods. Provide images of fruits, vegetables, and other nutritious foods. Encourage children to observe the characteristics of the foods, such as colors, shapes, and textures. After they identify the foods correctly, help them cut out the images and glue them onto a sheet of paper to create the collage. This playful activity promotes knowledge about healthy eating for kids without making them feel pressured to try those foods.
2. Fruit Skewers
- Bowl of chopped fruit (pineapple, strawberries, melon, etc.)
- Half-cut sticks or straws
How to do it
This activity aims to promote healthy snacks and work on children’s fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. To carry out this activity, find a space where you can get a bit messy, or protect the table with plastic to make sure you can clean up later. Place a bowl of chopped fruits on an appropriate surface. Provide half-cut sticks or straws next to the bowl. Show how to insert the fruits onto the stick to create a skewer, and assist your children in doing the same. Encourage them to choose the fruits they want to put on their own skewers. This activity promotes children’s autonomy and provides a playful and tasty experience, encouraging fruit consumption.
3. Food Pairs
- Various foods (fruits, vegetables, grains, etc.)
- Corresponding images of the foods
- Adequate play space
How to do it
Present the different food items and ask children if they recognize any of these foods. Then, show them the images of the foods and encourage them to identify the foods corresponding to the images, associating the words with the foods. Remind them of when these foods are consumed: breakfast, lunch, or snack time? Start slowly by introducing one or two foods at a time, and gradually add more foods. This activity will stimulate your children’s language skills, memory, attention, and association abilities, while familiarizing them with healthy foods.
- Picnic blanket
- Tray of healthy snacks (cheese cubes, whole-grain crackers, fruits, etc.)
How to do it
This healthy food activity for preschoolers will help you introduce healthy snacks to children in a fun and relaxed way. Prepare a picnic with your children, using a picnic blanket and a tray of healthy snacks like cheese cubes, whole-grain crackers, and fruits. Take this opportunity to talk to the children about the importance of having a balanced diet, praising healthy choices. This type of activity promotes a positive relationship with eating and allows children to engage interactively, experiencing healthy foods in a pleasant context.
By incorporating activities about healthy eating into early childhood education, parents and educators have the opportunity to spark children’s interest in appropriate nutritional choices from a young age. These healthy food activities for preschoolers encourage the exploration of healthy foods, foster a positive relationship with eating, and contribute to the development of good eating habits.
With the use of playful and interactive strategies, parents and educators can make learning about healthy eating more engaging and meaningful for children, preparing them for a healthy and balanced life!