Getting children to eat healthy foods can be a difficult task at times - I have first-hand experience with this since I have a very picky 6 year old. My 8 year old will at least try anything put in front of him and he likes about 99% of it! During this past school year, I have worked a part-time job - thankfully, this allowed me to spend more time attending school events for the kids. I even had the chance to join both of my boys for lunch a couple of times - I was not impressed. Every once in a while, they will have something healthy such as a grilled chicken sandwich on a whole grain bun but then the rest of the week the lunches will be hot pockets, pizza, or other foods that I consider to be 'junk'.
Childhood obesity rates have tripled in the past 30 years Childhood Obesity Rates - CDC; 2012 and to find a tool that makes learning about healthy eating fun is something that caught my attention! I was given the opportunity to review the 'Healthy Helpings - A MyPlate Activity Mat' from Learning Resources and I am very excited to be sharing my review with you!
MyPlate is an initiative developed by the U.S. Government in hopes that nutrition can be better understood than in the previous MyPyramid design. The 'Healthy Helpings' activity mat is designed based on MyPlate. The activity mat is designed for ages 4+ and grades PreK+. My oldest son, who is finishing up 2nd grade this year and is age 8, had fun with the game but quickly grew bored. On the other hand, my youngest son, age 6 and in Kindergarten, had a blast playing over and over! I love that the activity mat also integrates exercise into the fun!
'Healthy Helpings' includes 48 cards and wipe-clean vinyl mat measuring 4.5’L x 4.5’H. The cards feature beautiful, high-quality illustrations of the food groups and also have the word written on the back. Of the 48 cards, a portion are 'exercise' activities such as 10 jumping jacks or 10 arm circles. The first couple of games, I let my son look at the pictures to determine which category the food belonged to - then I had him look at only the words and sound them out to figure out what food the card was for...believe it or not, he had more fun playing based on the words! This gave me a very PROUD MAMA moment! As the school year comes to an end, I plan on donating the game to his teacher so she can integrate it into their lessons on nutrition. I am not an educator but I think it's a great item for teachers to look into purchasing!
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Disclosure: This post may contain an affiliate link. Read my full Disclosure Policy. I received Healthy Helpings: A MyPlate Activity Mat for FREE for reviewing purposes from Learning Resources. No other forms of compensation were received. All opinions are my own.