Having a good nutritional diet is essential, so it makes sense that everybody—even kids—should be aware of how nutrition works and impacts their health. Teaching a classroom full of children about nutrition might not be the easiest task, but luckily, there are many ways of learning—including online games—that can make learning about nutrition more interesting and enjoyable, especially for kids!
Nutrition.gov has the best available online games for educating children about nutrition. However, various other platforms offer excellent games with the same purpose:
- Let’s Eat Healthy
- Nourish Interactive
- Smithsonian’s Pick Your Plate
- CDC’s BAM! Dining Decisions
- BrainPOP’s Sortify Nutrition
Is it Possible to Make Learning About Nutrition Fun?
Having a good nutritional intake is extremely important for every single human on this earth; everyone should take joy in learning about nutrition and what it does for their body. And generally, if you are curious about nutrition and the different benefits, you’ll be interested in learning about it.
However, kids are a little different; they usually aren’t interested in nutrition and require more effort from teachers or parents to help them. Keeping a positive attitude is the first way you can help make learning about this subject matter more fun; the class will pick up on this and be more encouraged to learn as long as you are encouraged to teach!
But having the right tools is just as important. Sure, you can show the kids videos and read about different nutritional topics, but it’s only a matter of time before you lose their attention. Luckily, there other educational options within reach that can make learning about nutrition more fun. For example, online games can entertain and educate children better than standard videos and lectures.
There might’ve not been so many online games available 20 or 30 years ago, but now kids are raving about playing games on their computers or gaming consoles. Because it’s what they enjoy doing, it only makes sense to introduce the importance of healthy nutrition with an online game. You can add anything you would like to your class when you create an online nutrition course, so why not throw some games in there?
What's the Best Nutrition Online Game for the Classroom?
The best nutritional online game can be found on Kids’ Corner on Nutrition.gov. And, even though there are many games available on the website, the best games for kids that we recommend are the Whyville Snack Shack Games.
“Whyville” is an interactive fictional town where players can explore, chat with other students, play games, and more. After signing in, children can create their own avatar that can be used to navigate around “town.”
The Snack Shack is a diner in Whyville, where kids have the option to play one of two educational games:
- Label Lingo: Teaches children different aspects of the nutritional facts label and how it works.
- Snack Sort: Has children compare different foods as snack items and teaches them how to pick healthier choices.
Because of how the platform is set up, students can play alone or as a pair in Label Lingo or compete against fellow students in the classroom in Snack Sort! For the latter, all you need is to set up a login for each student.
These games help children increase their knowledge about what kind of foods qualify as healthy snacks. They are also especially attractive to younger children because they are filled with a lot of color and animations. It’ll grab their attention, and they will be focused on what’s going on in the game, all while retaining key information.
Speaking of information, the games are vetted by the FDA, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, so you can rest easy knowing all of the information your kids will learn from these games will be accurate.
The Top 5 Nutrition Online Games for the Classroom
The Snack Shack games from Nutrition.gov aren’t the only educational games to teach nutrition available for children; there are many more options for students to play.
The following platforms and online games can be used in a classroom, and students can play them individually or in groups. For the parents out there, these games can also be used if your child is homeschooled; after all, every living room can be turned into a classroom!
Let’s Eat Healthy Games
Let’s Eat Healthy has excellent games available for children in the classroom, many of which involve short quizzes for younger children (Quizlets) as well as older students (Kahoot).
Although these games aren’t long, they are still suitable choices and can be interchanged between ages; the platform features games and quizzes appropriate for students from kindergarten to high school.
The different Quizlets available on Let’s Eat Healthy include:
- Key Nutrients
- Classifying Foods
- Shaping Up Food Choices
- Food Groups
- Nutrient Terms
- Mixed Meals
- Hard to Classify Foods
These Quizlet games can be done as a group, or students can do them individually—whatever is preferred. They’re designed to test students on their knowledge of healthy eating and nutrition. What’s great about Quizlet is that students can learn new nutrition-related vocabulary and terms through flashcards, quizzes, and matching games.
Kahoot games available on the platform include:
Kahoot games are more game-based and are best played as a whole classroom! Quizzes can be put up on a large screen, and students can answer from a different device, like iPads. It’s interactive, and nobody is left out.
Nourish Interactive is another online platform that offers even more educational, nutritional games.
Although the platform offers games for all ages, there is a section specifically for younger students that features an exciting, colorful map of “Solusville,” a healthy neighborhood with various locations and stops. The entire map features a wide selection of fun food games, with each location offering several options to play. Chef Solus, the avatar in this neighborhood, walks children through the different games and takes them on an adventure!
There are crossword puzzles, coloring games, pyramid games, card games, and so much more. However, we highly recommend the Chef Solus and the Food Pyramid Adventure game. The game helps educate kids about different food groups, having balanced meals, and how important exercising is. You will need to create a login to save scores and points, but it is otherwise free to play!
The large variety of games offered through Nourish Interactive is a considerable benefit because playing similar games repeatedly can quickly become boring—especially for young kids. Having a multitude of games to pick from will keep children engaged and happy to learn about nutrition!
The Smithsonian's Pick Your Plate Game
The Smithsonian Science Education Center offers an interactive nutritional game called Pick Your Plate. The captivating factor about this game is that it has a global teaching aspect to it!
Before you start the game, you choose which country’s nutritional values you would like to learn about:
- United States of America
After you choose a country, you will see a small overview of the country’s five main categories of consumed foods. Going forward, you will be able to create breakfast, lunch, and dinner meals within the culture and with their different nutritional items. It also teaches the recommended portions for each food group.
Once you learn about one country, you can move on to the next. So not only do you and your class learn about good nutrition, but you learn about nutritional standards and foods from different cultures. This game is entertaining for children of all ages, although older students may more easily retain information regarding cultural differences.
CDC’s BAM! Dining Decisions
If you would like to use an app instead of a website, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) offers an app that can be downloaded on Apple and Android devices. The BAM! Dining Decisions App teaches children how to create a healthy plate of food.
The app’s food expert, Kendra, helps the player make food choices that are wise and beneficial for them and their body. The app digs deeper into what kinds of foods provide benefits to human bodies in terms of energy, supplying muscle growth, and so on.
This game is ideal in a classroom where iPads are available for students to use to interact with the app on their own or with a partner. It’s a very in-depth app, so they can spend a good amount of time on it.
BrainPOP’s Sortify Nutrition
The fifth and last choice of games on this list is a little different from the rest. It’s a single game rather than a platform, and it’s BrainPOP’s Sortify Nutrition game. It works for all ages and is even great for adults!
For this game, you’ll have around twenty-four tiles with different types of food and their names. There are fats, carbohydrates, vegetables, grains, and more. You have to sort these foods into different groups and then submit the groups to see your score. The game will then show you which items are in the correct group and if there were any placed incorrectly.
The most significant benefit of playing this game is that it will help teach kids which foods have protein, vitamin C, calcium, fiber, and other nutrients. Beyond the game, the platform offers videos and quizzes related to nutrition as well. For example, some videos and quizzes cover information about main food groups like carbohydrates and protein, which is vital to learn about.
Sometimes, teaching a class can be difficult and demanding all on its own. Having different ways of delivering academic material—specifically about nutrition, in this case—can always help and be a nice change for the students. Your goal is for your students to gain accurate information while having fun; these games will help you reach that outcome!
The games listed above are all appropriate alternatives to reading assignments and videos and can be highly valued by teachers and students alike. It will not only help your students be involved, but if you do group games, it’ll evoke participation and help the kids retain key information better.
Hopefully, with the vast assortment of educational nutrition online games listed above, a few caught your attention and can be put to good use in your classroom!