Play with Food and Learn


Yes, we know. Your mother said to “never play with your food.” Well, let’s shake things up! Getting your kids to experience new foods is essential to help avoid becoming picky eaters when they grow up. Putting new dishes in front of them at lunch or dinner may not be enough to convince them to try new things. Get your kids to play with their food with these fun ideas.


Mystery Box Challenge  

Grab a blindfold and a box of some random fruits and vegetables that are ready to eat. The task is to identify all the fruits and vegetables. Without being able to see, they will have to rely on the smelling, feeling, and tasting senses. Make a chart with categories to write down their description of 

  • What they smell: is it a strong or mild scent?
  • How the fruit or vegetable feels: is it hard, soft, bumpy, etc.?
  • What it tastes like: is it sweet, sour, crunchy, soft, etc.?

Have a glass of water just in case they don’t like it as well as a garbage pail for spitting something out. They will get points for every right description and bonus points if they don’t give up and try everything.


Make a Rainbow

First, have your kids identify the colours of the rainbow. Once you’ve got that down, have them do some research. Make a chart of all the things you can use to make your rainbow. You’re going to make two rainbows, one for fruits and one for vegetables. You can use pics from a magazine or downloaded from online and make a collage to represent a fruit or vegetable rainbow or make it with real life ingredients. 

The challenge: Can you find something for every colour of the rainbow?


Pizza Party

This one can be for the entire family. For dinner, grab a bunch of different vegetables and let your kids try each one to taste. Then decide which vegetables work best together to put on your veggie pizza. You’ll have your chefs-in-training doing some major scientific experiments in the kitchen, using their taste buds. 

For dessert, you’ll be making a fruit pizza! Do the same with your fruit assortments and decide which fruits will go best on your dessert. 

Here’s a recipe for fruit pizza that your kids will have fun making and eating.

Kids LOVE making pizza so this is a guaranteed fun time. Be sure to keep an eye on your toppings because they tend to disappear while assembling!


Food Art

Time to get creative while playing with food! Choose whether you will use fruits or vegetables or both. Cut them up into “building materials” and let your kids’ imagination go wild. For example, you can use carrot and celery sticks, cucumber rounds, olives (whole or sliced); the list is pretty extensive. They can build something elaborate like a car, house, or a person made entirely out of fruits and/or vegetables depending on what they have, or do something simple and silly like different funny faces. For older kids, you can provide toothpicks to hold together those more elaborate builds.

Letter of the Week

At the start of each week, pick a letter of the alphabet out of a bag and decide what fruit or vegetable you will use that starts with the letter that was picked. For example, if you picked the letter B and you decided on a banana, throughout the week you can try new recipes that include the star ingredient. Have fun looking for things you haven’t tried before so you can find new family favourites. Check off the letters you’ve done, and you can create a journal or recipe keepsake in alphabetical order of all the foods you created.

Whatever you choose, when we get the kids involved with making choices they are more accepting to participate in new things. Not only will you have more adventurous kids, you’ll probably end up with new recipes for the whole family once you’re done. Have fun playing with your food!

For more fruit and vegetable games, check out the article, Fun Fruit and Vegetable Games for Kids.


This article has been written by homeschooling staff writers of The Canadian Schoolhouse (TCS). Enjoy more of our content from TCS contributors and staff writers by visiting our Front Door page that has content on our monthly theme and links to all our content sections.

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"Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it" (Proverbs 22:6).