Our Foodles for Kids card game isn't trying to reinvent the wheel but we are giving it a wholesome, healthy spin. Whimsical fruit and vegetable food friends paired with a fun-filled fast action card game creates laughter and good times for families everywhere. Think you know how fruits and vegetables grow? Then you'll be a whiz at this game. Or not! Featuring 67 different foods, Foodles engages children and raises awareness of the vast variety of fruits and vegetables that grow around the world, showing how each food grows and labeling it as a fruit, vegetable, or a vegetable/fruit combo (for food we call a vegetable but which is really, botanically speaking, a fruit.
Feed me, I’m yours!
Nutrition science research reveals interesting facts about kids eating habits while life experience teaches us a variety of tricks and tips to help our children eat as many healthy foods as possible.
One study found that the more children became familiar with food through the use of pictures, the more likely they were to try that food. This study concluded that picture books may have positive, long-term impacts on children’s attitudes towards new foods.*
Research has also found it can take kids up to 12 exposures (not eating it 12 times) to any certain food for them to determine it’s something that they will now eat.
To that end we encourage including Foodles card games and activities in your child’s daily play, providing a fun and creative way to raise their awareness of a variety of fruits and vegetables, that will hopefully, in turn, lead to a heightened interest in eating and enjoying these healthy foods.Here’s some more food for thought…
- Remember that kids don’t have much control over their life. One of the few ways they assert their independence is by controlling which food does and doesn’t go into their mouth. So be patient and don’t get into a power struggle because then you both lose.
- Don’t focus on how a food tastes - talk about how it grows and its shape along with how it smells and the texture of it when you eat it. Maybe it comes in different colors and even different sizes. Explore the countries where the food grows and how different cultures may eat the same food in different ways.
- Who said you can’t play with your food? Not us, obviously since we created a card game using food characters but you make dinners easier to digest (physically and emotionally) when meal time is relaxed and fun. The internet abounds with ways to make food more fun for kids from creating ants on a log ‘nut butter or humus on celery or carrot sticks’ to cutting foods into fun shapes with cookie cutters. Fruits and vegetables come in all colors of the rainbow and the more colorful the food is on the plate the more appealing it will be to the child. There’s no rule saying breakfast foods can only be eaten in the morning. Mix it up, healthy foods should be on the menu anytime of the day.
- Give them responsibility. Use the Foodles food friends to create a 'treasure hunt' ahead of a shopping trip through the grocery produce section or farmers’ market. Let kids help you plan the menu, clean the food, set the table, perform ‘appropriate to their age’ food prep, etc. Utilize the Foodles food cards to give them a choice of which fruit or vegetable (from those you have on hand) that they would like to add to their meal that day.
- A child may refuse to eat kale but add a few leaves to some fresh or frozen fruit and unsweetened applesauce, call it a green monster smoothie and they usually drink with delight. Spaghetti sauce is the perfect camouflage for some minced peppers, broccoli or cauliflower. Small amounts of grated carrots, zucchini, squash, etc. can easily mix into soups, casseroles and muffins without giving away their identity. I make 'cupcakes' with ingredients like kidney beans, dates, potatoes, tahini, maple syrup, coconut butter and cocoa, and my grandson (as well as the whole family) absolutely loves them!
- Grow a garden. You don’t need acres of land to grow food. Sprouts grow in a jar on the kitchen windowsill while juicy cherry tomatoes from the plant on your deck, porch or patio are fun to pick and will be the star in any homemade dish. I have had children tell me they ‘hate’ salsa but after helping me pick some tomatoes, cucumbers and cilantro from my garden, and adding them to some cut up red onions and avocado, they declared it delicious! Help them connect to Mother Earth as hands on experience usually wins them over.
- Role model - it almost goes without saying that parents are the role model for their children - if mom, dad or other adult shows their dislike of certain foods you can be certain the kids will follow suit. If you really don’t like broccoli then keep that info to yourself. No need to input any negative energy as you help them form healthy eating habits.
- Small steps begin a lifelong journey. Make the effort to sit down together as a family and eat meals together. Make it an opportunity for everyone to share something from their day and create meaningful dialogue.
- When you eat food, eat food. Don’t watch television, don’t talk on the phone, don’t be texting and put away your computer or iPad. Your child will follow suit. Eat slow, savor your food and eat with intention.
- Teach children that their body is a gift and it’s to their advantage to take good care of it. Explain that every time we eat, it’s another opportunity to show ourselves some love. Lifelong good health habits are best implemented when we are young but it’s never too late to make changes and make good choices when it comes to eating healthy food. *https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29807124/
AVOCADO based Recipe
Use this recipe as a base to which you can add various spices (onion powder, garlic powder, dried dill and parsley or try some cumin, cinnamon and miso) to create your very own salad dressing, dip for veggies or spread for a sandwich.
Blend all ingredients together:
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup almond, cashew, or soy milk
1 to 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon dijon or stone ground mustard
1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
I created this fun little play garden for my grandson for his toy room. He loves picking the apples from the tree, digging for potatoes, harvesting strawberries, lettuce and tomatoes and pulling carrots from the ground. Just another way to help connect our children to the wonder and miracle of 'Mother Nature'.