Ways to Play

Foodles Card Game

A Foodles card deck contains 67 different fruits and vegetables in full color with a black/white icon (see below) on each card showing how that food grows.  All the cards fall into one of four groups:


Cards with this icon show food that grows on a tree.




Cards with this icon show food that grows on a bush, plant or on a vine off the ground.




Cards with this icon show food that grows sitting
on the ground.



Cards with this icon show food that grows as
a tuber or root under the ground.




Some players may already know how these foods grow and may not need to refer to the icon but most players will use them to learn how a particular food grows and/or to confirm what they think they already know.  The more the game is played, the more players will learn how each food grows until they will be able to play Foodles and know how each fruit and vegetable grows without referring to the icons.

Targeted skills for the following games include: fruit and vegetable recognition, visual working memory and focusing abilities, observation and spontaneity skills, counting by pairs, strategic and critical thinking along with healthy competitive and cooperative play.

Foodles is educational and engaging fun.  Use you and your child's imaginative power to create your own special games and activities as you help prepare your kids for a lifetime of healthy eating! 


Age recommendations for the games below:

Farmers Market is a good game to play with younger children (ages 4 to 6) as it's quite easy and similar to playing concentration.  Younger kids can also compete with the older ones in this game.

Whatcha Growing? is a cooperative game where all the players work together.  This is a game where a younger child can team up with an older one to help with the question and answers.

F-O-O-D is a fast-action game that tests your observation and reflex skills.  This game is recommended for children ages 8 and older.

FOODLE - this game is similar to Slap Jack and so younger children can play as long as they are able to differentiate between the four growing groups.  

FOODLES TRADING GAME - this game is recommended for ages 10 and up as it is very fast paced and high energy.

For Toddler Activities scroll down to end of post.  

Check out Jan's blog post for more helpful ways to provide a healthy lifestyle for children.




This is a fun game that tests and improves your visual working memory, focusing and observation skills.  

Game Guidelines 

GAME PLAY - The dealer shuffles the cards then lays out 32 cards, face down, in 4 rows with 8 cards in each row.  (For young children you can lay out half as many cards - 16 cards, face down, in 4 rows with 4 cards in each row).  

These cards represent different stalls at a farmers market, each one selling a particular fruit or vegetable.  Players go ‘shopping’ for food but can only ‘buy’ (pick up) pairs that match (two cards where both foods grow the same way).

The youngest player goes first by turning any two cards over. If the cards match, i.e. they grow the same way, then the player picks up the cards and keeps them.  They get to go again until they fail to get a match. Throughout the game the dealer replaces any cards that get picked up with more cards, laid face down, in their place.

The game is over when as many cards have been matched as possible. 

Winning the Game 

The winner of the game is the player with the most points at the end of the game.  Each card collected counts as one point.  (For older children, to improve their math skills, add up the card points using the Foodles score card included with the game)


If you are really sure you know what a certain card is, do not turn it over first.  For example, if you know exactly where the apple card is that grows on a tree but you are not sure where there is another card that also grows on a tree, turn over a random card first.  This way, if it isn’t one that also grows on a tree, you have another chance at getting a match.

Variation on Play:  Players create their own private shopping list by writing down the name of one fruit or vegetable from each of the four growing categories.  For example, they might write apricot (grows on a tree), kiwi (grows on a plant/bush or vine of the ground), pumpkin (grows sitting on the ground) and carrot (grows as a root under the ground).  Fold the paper or turn it over so no one else can see what was written.  Play continues per above instructions though players need to keep an eye out for any of the foods they wrote down.  If they are able to collect these foods they will receive five extra points for each one of these cards at the end of the game.

Click here to print out a resource guide for beginners to use as a visual aid if they need help choosing one food from each group.



Whatcha Growing?

Game Guidelines

GOAL:  Players try to guess what food card another player is holding in their hand by asking questions.  This is a cooperative game where all the players work together to see how many cards they can guess correctly in a limited amount of time.

SET-UP:  Shuffle all the cards and place the deck, face down, in the middle of all the players.  Each player takes a turn being the 'farmer' with the youngest player going first.  Set a timer for five or ten minutes for each round. 

GAME PLAY: The 'farmer' draws a card from the top of the deck.  Other players try to guess what food it is by asking questions, going clockwise around the group. The farmer can only answer ‘Yes’ ‘No’ or ‘I don’t know’ to any question that is asked.  Players can ask any question as long as they don't name the food.  For instance, they can ask, “Is this food a fruit?” but they can’t ask “Is this food an apple?” When they have asked enough questions to narrow down their choice and discussed among themselves what food they think it is they get three guesses to name the food.  If they don’t guess it after three tries the farmer places the card in a discard pile.    If they do guess it correctly they score a point for their team. [Each time you play a round try to accumulate more points than the last time.]  

The next player then becomes the 'farmer', draws the top card and play continues.  

Some sample questions to ask:

Is it a fruit?

Is it a vegetable?

Is it a vegetable/fruit?

Does it grow on a tree?

Does it grow sitting on the ground?

Does it grow under the ground?

Does it grow on a plant/bush/ or vine up of the ground?

Is it mostly red (or yellow, green, orange, etc.)  in color?

Does it taste sweet?

Do you have to peel it to eat it?

Is this one of your favorite foods?

Do you eat this food often?

Does this food have seeds in it that you can’t eat?

Do you usually cook this food before you eat it?

Does its name begin with a p (or c, d, s, etc.)?

(Players can come up with their own questions as long as it can be answered with a Yes, No, or I don’t know.)

This game is easily adaptable to different age groups because you can play only with the fruit and vegetable cards your child is familiar with when first playing the game.  More cards can be added as they learn about and recognize new fruits and vegetables. 

VARIATION: You can play this game 'in reverse' by having the 'farmer' pick up the top card and hold it so everyone can see it except them.  Players shout out clues describing the food without actually naming it. 

"It's a fruit" "A bunch grow on a plant" "We eat them on pancakes" "They are red with little seeds on the outside"

If, after numerous clues, the farmer can't guess it then another card is drawn and play continues. 

VARIATION:  MINUTE TO WIN IT - This version is for older kids and adults.  One player holds a handful of cards in front of them, face down.  They turn over and display the top card so everyone can see it but them.  The other players immediately rapid-fire descriptions of the food so the dealer can correctly guess what fruit or vegetable they are displaying.  (Clues can be anything except for the name of the food.)  Once they guess it, turn that card down and flip up a new one.  Set a timer for one minute to see how many you can guess in sixty seconds time. 




Game Guidelines

This high-energy game (for 3 to 10 people) is played like the card game Spoons or Pig.    

GOAL  -  To be the first player to make a group of four of a kind in their hand or not to be the last player to notice when someone else has done so.    

SET-UP - Lay out, in the middle, one less apple (or spoon, orange, coin, etc.) than the number of players. (For example - if there are five players place four apples in the middle).  All players should have easy access to one of the objects placed in the center.  

Sort the Foodles playing cards into four groups, according to how they grow, i.e. place all the ones that grow on a tree together, all those that grow underground together, etc.  Once they are sorted take out specific cards to play with according to the following chart:

Three players - use four cards from three different groups

Four players - use four cards from each of the four groups

Five players - use 8 cards from the Tree group, 4 cards from the Bush/Plant/on Vine group, 4 cards from Sitting on Ground group and 4 cards from Growing Underground group.

Six players - use 8 cards from the Tree group, 8 cards from the Bush/Plant/Vine group, 4 cards from Sitting on ground group and 4 cards from growing underground group.

Seven players - Use 12 cards from the Tree group, 8 from the Bush/Plant/Vine group, 4 cards from Sitting on ground group and 4 cards from growing underground group.

Eight Players -  Use 12 cards from the Tree group, 12 from the Bush/Plant/Vine group, 4 cards from Sitting on ground group and 4 cards from growing underground group.

Nine Players - Use 12 cards from the Tree group, 12 from the Bush/Plant/Vine group, 8 cards from Sitting on ground group and 4 cards from growing underground group.

Ten Players - Use 16 cards from the Tree group, 12 from the Bush/Plant/Vine group, 8 cards from Sitting on ground group and 4 cards from growing underground group.

GAME PLAY - The dealer deals out all the (pre-selected) cards so each player winds up with four cards in their hand.  Players look at their cards and decide which card they will pass to their neighbor.  The dealer directs the passing each time by saying 1, 2, 3 pass.  At this command every player must pass, face down, one card from their hand to the player on their right.  Everyone needs to pass their card at the same time.  Players pick up the card passed to them and add it to their hand.  When a player gets four-of-a-kind, grab an apple (or other object that is in the middle) immediately.  This can be done quietly or with lots of motion.  When one player grabs an object everyone else must grab one too.  The objective? Obtain an ‘apple’ at all costs.  The player who first reached for the apple must lay down their cards to prove they have four fruits and vegetables that all grow the same way.  If they do, then the person who did not grab an apple gets the letter F.  If the player who first grabbed from the middle does not have five matching cards then they get the letter F and play continues with the next player dealing out five cards to each player.  At the end of each round, whoever doesn't grab an apple gets a letter to eventually spell out the word, Food.  If you collect all fout letters then you are out of the game.  Each time someone leaves the game you remove 4 cards (from the same group) plus you remove one object from the middle.  Eventually it comes down to two players, playing with 8 cards, four from one group and four from another group, with only one apple left in the middle to grab.  The player getting four cards that grow the same way and who grabs the apple first is the winner.  



 GOAL - Players try to win cards by being the first to slap the middle discard pile whenever two or more cards show up that grow the same way.  

 SET-UP - Foodle is a game for 2 to 8 players and is played with the full deck of fruit and vegetable cards.  Select a dealer to begin and then take turns dealing subsequent rounds.  

GAME PLAY -  The dealer deals out all the cards, face down to each player.  It's okay if everyone doesn't receive the same amount of cards.  Place the cards face down in front of you.  When dealer says, "Flip" all players together turn their top card over and place it face up in front of them.  Players need to quickly look at all the cards and if any two or more of the cards grow the same way they try to be the first one to slap the cards.  First player to do so collects the cards that match (and any cards under them) leaving any unmatched ones in their place for continued play.  The player who eventually gets all the cards wins the game.

If a player slaps their hand down and there are no matches then, as a penalty, they must give one of their face down cards to each of the other players. 

At any time during a round, if a match happens to go unnoticed then that play is lost and the game continues on.  When all the cards have been played the one with the most cards wins the game.

Variation on play: The dealer gets to select one food to be the 'wild card'.  This can be any fruit or vegetable card of their choice.  They announce to everyone what the food is before dealing.  For example they will announce,  "The Apple card is the wild card in this game."  When that card appears (whether there are any other matches or not) the first player to 'slap it' gets all the cards in the middle. 



3 or more players

GOAL -  You attempt to collect six cards containing foods that all grow the same way. The four ways these foods grow are: 
1. On a tree
2. Sitting on the ground
3. As a plant, on a bush or vine up off the ground
4. Underground as a root or tuber

You will trade cards with other players and also with the market. As soon as someone has six food cards in their hand that all grow the same way, they yell “Foodles!” and the round ends.

SETUP  -  Provide each player with 3 coins (or 3 small pieces of paper) that give you the ability to EXCHANGE cards with the Market pile. Obtain pencil/pen and paper to record your score after each round.

The oldest player is the first dealer.  Deal six cards, face down, to each player.  Place remaining cards in the middle, face down, to create the MARKET pile.

GAME PLAY  -  Before any of the players look at their cards, the dealer announces “Market Open!” The players then look at their cards and may immediately offer trades with any other player by shouting the number of cards they want to swap and the name of the food on one of the cards  (if they are swapping one card they just name that food, if they are swapping two or more they give the name of the food on just one of the cards.)  Example: a player has two cards to swap, both grow on a tree and one of them is an apple.  They would shout, "Two! Two! Two! Apple".  If they only have one card to swap they say “One! One! One!” and then the name of that fruit or vegetable. Players willing to trade do not need to name the cards they trade back to that player.

Cards offered in each individual trade must all grow the same way. The black/white icons on each card show how they grow. For example: apples and pears both grow on trees and may be offered together in a trade.

In addition to trading with other players, any player can pay one of their three coins to exchange from the Market pile. Place a coin next to the Market pile, lay down any number of cards (they must all grow the same way) in the discard pile, face up, then pick up the same amount of cards from the Market pile to continue play. No one is allowed to pick up from the discard pile.

The first player to collect six food cards that all grow the same way yells, “Foodles!’ and lays down their cards. That hand is over and players record their scores for that round. 

All players add up the scores of the cards in their hand according to the following chart. The player winning that round doubles their points.
Tree: 2 points per card
Bush/Plant/Vine: 3 points per card
On Ground: 4 points per card
Underground: 5 points per card

Strategy Hint: Going for underground can make you a lot of points, but there are not that many underground cards. Lots of fruits grow on lots of trees.

WINNER:  Play as many rounds as there are players and the highest score wins or for a longer game play until someone reaches a total of 100 (or more) points.



Foodles can be utilized with toddlers to help them develop their recognition skills.  Use the food friends as flash cards.  Once they learn to recognize a food, i.e. the Apple Card, place it face up among two other food cards and ask them to point to the Apple.  As they learn more, use Foodles to let them choose a fruit or vegetable to eat that day.  Lay out three or four food cards (obviously use food that you have on hand in the kitchen) and have them pick that day's snack or inclusion in their lunch or dinner meal!