Playtime Ideas for Raising Healthy Eaters

These play ideas for raising healthy eaters was written for Melissa & Doug by special Guest Blogger Julie Kieras from

Healthy Eaters Image

You’ve probably sat across the table from a picky child who refused to eat their veggies. Or would not eat anything except French fries. Or else it had to be applesauce for three straight days.

Raising healthy eaters takes years of cultivating good habits, good attitudes, and good examples. Increase the opportunities to talk about healthful food choices with your child with these playtime ideas:

1) “Food Rainbow” Craft

Rainbow of Healthy Foods

This is a simple activity to teach your child to recognize healthful foods.  Grab some food-shaped stickers (like the Make-a-Meal Stickers), crayons and some construction paper to get started!

Let your child (or assist) draw a rainbow across the entire paper, then search the sticker set for foods that match the colors. Children will enjoy matching the food color to the rainbow drawing, and it will give you time to talk to your child about why each food item is yummy and good for them!

Finding Healthy Foods

When completed your child will have a brilliantly colored display of food choices that are good for them!

Tip: Transition their rainbow craft to mealtime by asking how many rainbow colors they can eat!

2) Create a “Good Foods” Plate

As your child to create (using stickers, or just by drawing) a “good foods” plate, complete with main course, side dish and beverage! Older kids can complete a plate using food items from each of the four food groups. Then, laminate your child’s food rainbow and plate creations to showcase their artwork at the table and serve as a visual reminder of healthful food choices!

For younger kids, use wooden play food to teach the four main food groups. Use the wooden containers to sort the food items into their four groups. Instead of matching like pieces (color with color), this is a step up where children match items to categories.

Finding Healthy Food Choices

Then, ask your child to create a delicious meal that includes an item from each food group! Eat up – it’s delicious!

Using playtime to discuss and interact with food and healthful eating choices reinforces the good example and variety of choices you already instilling at the table!

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M&D Divider Line 2

Shop the Story

Food GroupsFood Groups Wooden Play Set


Make-a-Meal StickersMake-a-Meal Sticker Pad



  1. loooooove the sticker idea! What child doesn’t love stickers? Learning foods and colors at the same time. 🙂


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