Top free foody activities you can do over the summer break

Finding affordable activities that A) carry some kind of educational or health focus and B) don't cost an arm and a leg is no mean feat.

Dietitian, Nigel Denby has been working with a number of SOSCN members this year on a wide range of food and nutrition projects which include simple “activities with a message” to try in clubs. Here are his top free (or very cheap) food and nutrition activities that children will learn from and enjoy whatever the weather.

  1. Visit a community farm or garden - there are community gardens and farms all around the country and many are free to visit. Activities are often available to help children experience and learn about the whole farm to fork journey.
  2. Blind tastings. A lot of children claim they don't like fruits or vegetables without ever tasting them- Turning tasting into a game helps children get passed any pre conceived ideas about a food, it lets them focus on the specific aspects of a food that they either do or don't like. Blindfold your taster- introduce pieces of fruit and vegetables to taste and ask what they do or don't like about the smell, texture and taste of the sample food. You could build up a wall chart including the children's photographs and all the different fruits and vegetables they've tasted.
  3. Make frozen yoghurt ice lollies- make a fruit puree with raspberries, strawberries, peaches, banana or any soft fruit. Mix the puree with natural Greek style yoghurt. Pour the fruit and yoghurt mix into jelly moulds or plastic drinking cups - insert a lolly stick into each mould and freeze over night. Next day remove the frozen yoghurt from the mould and enjoy.
  4. Supermarket visit- ask your local supermarket if they arrange children's tours as part of their community engagement commitment. The children can learn about all the countries the fruit and vegetables come from- how food is stored and warehoused, how it is displayed for sale. You might even get some goodies to take back to the club!
  5. Eat a rainbow- the different colours of fruits and vegetables tell you a lot about the vitamins and minerals they contain. As well as trying to encourage 5 a day, children should be encouraged to eat a wide variety of coloured fruit and veg too to maximise their nutritional intake. Set a challenge for the children to eat as many different coloured fruit and vegetables as possible over a week- make a Rainbow wall chart to include the different fruits and vegetables the children have eaten.
  6. Make your own fruit drinks: sugar sweetened drinks contribute huge amounts of sugar to children diets- some regular cans of fizzy drinks by as much as 7-8tsps of sugar each. To help highlight the impact sweetened drinks can have on sugar intake try this activity. Make fruit flavoured water using washed drinks bottles- fill the bottles with water and add fruit slices, orange or lemon peel and herbs like mint leaves- store the drinks over night and the following day chill them ready for morning break for the children to taste. You could also have the children try to count up how many teaspoons of sugar they consume each week from drinks- 1 teaspoon = 6g sugar.

To find out more about Nigel Denby's work with SOSCN members and how you may be eligible for funding to support Food and Nutrition projects in your club contact Nigel: or Tel: 07941 396 610

last updated: 10/07/2018