Crunch a Color: The Healthy Eating Game for Kids
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- Kids earn points for eating servings of vegetables, fruits, proteins and grains
- Bonus points for trying something new
- Developed with the help of nutritionists, pediatricians, and teachers
- Includes a free reward chart, 90 illustrated cards, and rules of play
- Named one of the Best 100 Children's Products of 2011 by Dr. Toy and Parent Tested, Parent Approved
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Crunch a Color: The Healthy Eating Game is a mealtime card game that makes healthy eating fun for the whole family. In this engaging game, kids earn points for eating a balanced and colorful meal. Bonus points for trying new foods. Heralded by Rachael Ray's Yum-o! as, "A simple, fun and playful way to get kids to eat healthy and try new foods", Crunch a Color: The Healthy Eating Game is the easy way to end battles over broccoli, invite new foods to your family table, and have fun eating healthy together.
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Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I knew immediately that this would be embraced by my competitive six year old, and boy was it! After a day or two of learning the ropes I found her rummaging through the refrigerator looking for bok choy. She wasn't even sure what bok choy was, but she was determined to get those points. You see bonus points are awarded for trying a new food, so new foods became the targets she zeroed in on in a hurry. As we started the second week I began making my grocery list for the weekly shopping and asked Sophie if there was anything she'd like to add. In a flash she was standing next to me with her deck of cards naming a rainbow of fruits and vegetables.
In addition to food choices, there are several ways to earn a few extra points during the week, my favorite one being "Start a conversation at the dinner table". With just that small suggestion a new habit has been formed - every night Sophie asks us about our day. So not only are we no longer at a standoff over what's on her plate, we're actually talking and, dare I say, smiling during dinner. Amazing!
The concept is easy: your child earns a color card for each fruit or vegetable they eat, and they earn cards for eating healthy proteins, healthy grains, and drinking water or milk. There are bonus cards for things like trying a new vegetable or starting a conversation at the dinner table. The goal is to earn one protein card and three colors cards each day, and to earn a minimum of 30 points. If you're trying a more exotic fruit or vegetable, the benefits are obvious as the color cards consist of 5,10, or 15 points, depending on how unusual the fruit/vegetable is. The competitive nature of the game should work well if you have multiple children.
My son is four and a painfully picky eater. I was getting tired of nightly battles over him trying his food, so this game seemed like a good way to try to encourage more positive interactions. I decided to get my ten-year-old daughter involved as well. She's more adventurous but still balks at some foods. In the end, I think the game has benefited her the most. We decided on a small prize at the end of each week, and she's very motivated to get all of her cards each day so that she can win the prize.
The game has reduced the amount of complaining she does and encouraged her to try things she tends to fuss over. The other big bonus is that it's made dinnertime more peaceful and encouraged the kids to engage in polite behavior like starting a dinner conversation. Even though it wasn't as effective with my son as I'd hoped, I still very much like this product and think it's a great way for parents to convince their kids to engage in healthier eating habits. It doesn't just have to be for kids either. Adults looking to eat better can also participate, making this a great and healthful family activity.
So far it's inspired the following in our house:
An impeccably set dinner table most nights
6 new fruits and vegetables sampled by twin 4-year-olds and a six-year-old, eagerly, I might add.
A newly discovered love of arugula
Far less dissent when protein appears on a plate
1 heated discussion about what constitutes a healthy grain
A better understanding of what constitutes a serving size for different bodies
1 request for a third helping of Brussels Sprouts
I wish I had found it sooner!
Our favorite card is the double points for trying a new food. She just loves trying to beat her sister and trying a new food is the perfect way for her to do that. Plus, while she is in a great game-playing mood, we are able to talk about why certain foods are worth more points and which foods aren't worth any points at all. We have talked about whole grains vs white bread, quinoa and cauliflower rice vs white rice, and the most helpful: how to determine a serving size. Now it's not me telling her to eat 4 broccoli, it's the game! And she busts out her little fist and measures an appropriate serving of broccoli. The value of this game has far exceeded the cost already even if we stop playing it soon, I'm sure she will remember these tidbits of information.
Also very important to know is that you may actually have to change the way you eat as well. You have to eat 3 different colors of fruits or vegetables - you have to have this available in the house! You can make the game that you have to get 3 during the course of the whole day which is super easy, but we do the whole game during dinner and if I just can't make it happen then I'll allow them to have like frozen strawberries for dessert and that will count. I have been making much more balanced meals as well trying to abide by the rules of the game too. It is not hard to achieve this, I just have to be slightly conscious of it while planning dinner. Different fruits and vegetables are valued at different point levels. The commonly easy things like watermelon and strawberries and potatoes are worth 5 points, but rarer vegetables are worth up to 15 points like cauliflower, onions, swiss chard. You have to eat a fist-sized portion for it to count. It makes so much sense! Try it!