My children are pretty healthy eaters, but with our busy and active lives I realized that they weren’t even coming close to getting five servings of fruits and vegetables a  day. My husband and I needed a way to prompt a 6-year-old and a 3-year-old to make deliberate choices of fruits and vegetables in their meals – both when we prepared the food and when they made choices on their own.

So we introduced a fun family game that we play each night at the dinner table called It Takes Five. Each child takes turns and reports to the family all the fruits and vegetables that they chose that day. They count them on their fingers and they tell us the color of the food, what it tasted like and whether or not they enjoyed it.

How It Takes Five helps kids

At first, they weren’t even sure which foods fell into this food group, so we had fun talking about all kinds of foods, how they were grown and which food group they belong to. It has also helped them to try new foods with a variety of textures and colors.

They don’t always get five fruits and vegetables during the day, so they have even made choices to have fruit rather than another dessert so they could get to five before the day is over.

The It Takes Five game has helped us to talk about healthy foods and teach our children about their food choices. It encourages them to broaden their palate and serves as a great reminder to mom and dad to make sure we are providing the choices for our children each and every day.

Take LiveWell Colorado's 4-Day Challenge Color Your Plate and implement the It Takes Five game at the same time to help the whole family eat more fruits and vegetables. Let us know how you do in the comments!

Amy Thompson

Mom of two and former California girl Amy now resides with her family in Lowry. As a health and fitness professional, she’s passionate about educating the next healthier generation.

Photo: karimian