I’m always looking for fun ways to teach Pip and not just about reading and writing skills but about life in general. Like all parents, I want her to grow up as a healthy, well-rounded individual. With the issue of childhood obesity ever present, it’s very important that we not only provide our children with healthy nutritious food but also teach them to know themselves which foods are healthier and why.
Enter Foodeeze, a card game for children all about different types of food. Each card has a different food on it, represented by a fun cartoon-like character, a ‘health value’ and some general facts, such as what this food looks and tastes like, what nutrients it contains and how that helps your body to be healthy.
There are two suggested games that can be played with the cards. The first is very much like Snap – each player has a deck of cards, one is played on each turn, the player with the highest health value card wins the other cards played and the winner is the person with most cards as the end of the game. The second is called ‘What am I?’ where players take it in turns to read out the facts written on the card and the other players must try to guess which type of food it is. Whoever guesses correctly first wins that card and the winner is the player with most cards at the end.
I’ve played the first game with Pip a few times and it’s been pretty enjoyable, although I’m not sure how much she’s paying attention to which foods are healthiest when we’re playing. On the other hand, it is helping with her number skills as she has to work out which card wins.
We can’t really play the second game as described with Pip since her reading skills are a just a little basic for it – she is just below the recommended age level of five for this game. However, the three of us can play by either myself or Husband reading out the food facts and the other two players competing over who can guess what the food is first.
I’ve also come up with another way of using the cards. I show Pip two cards but cover up their health values. She then has to guess which food has the higher health value.
I think that these cards are a great, fun teaching resource and I’m sure I’m going to find other ways of using them. They’re clearly already making a difference as when we had ice cream the other day, she asked for just a little bit of chocolate flavour because it’s not very good for her. I was really impressed with this. She seems to really have caught onto the idea that unhealthy foods don’t need to be cut out altogether, just eaten in smaller amounts.
I have only one criticism of the cards. On the ‘Cary Carrot’ card, one of the facts given is that ‘I help you to see’. Now while it’s true that carrots are a good source of beta-carotene, which is made into Vitamin A by our bodies and Vitamin A is important for eye health, there are much better sources of Vitamin A available from cheese, eggs and yoghurt. Also, while a deficiency of vitamin A could lead to eye problems and even blindness, eating more carrots is not going to improve how well you can see. The idea that carrots could help you see, specifically in the dark, was a myth created by the British government during the second world war to fool the Germans into believing that carrot consumption was the reason for British pilots nighttime flying skills to conceal the invention of radar. Since then, many children have been told that eating carrots will help you see in the dark but it is not true. We are firmly of the opinion that we should tell Pip the truth at all times so I’m not keen on perpetuating a fallacy to try and get her to eat her veggies.
Overall, I think Foodeeze cards are brilliant. They’re fun and educational and I think we’ll be playing with them for a long time to come, especially once Pip’s reading improves and we can use them to their full potential.