Eating Around the World Game

Culinary Spelunker's picture

Canada. Columbia. China. Costa Rica. Dominican Republic. England. There is a world of flavor just waiting to be discovered. Now how to convince your kids to give it a try? Here’s an idea – make it a game.

Eating around the world game

Kids don’t need much encouragement to be adventurous. It’s in their nature. I think one key in helping them overcome an aversion to sampling new foods is to involve them in the process – not just put a plate in front of them and hope they’ll give it a try. Even though my kids are already pretty willing eaters it’s been a process to get them there. And some foods still take a bit of convincing to get them to try.

Every once in awhile I find it’s fun to enliven our dinner table by coming up with a game. This time instead of thinking up something on my own, I brainstormed a few ideas with my youngest daughter. We went back and forth on a few plans and then she disappeared into her room with an empty cardboard box that once held granola bars. She popped out a few times to ask for a world map, then pictures of different country flags, markers, more markers.

Eating around the world game

An hour or so later my youngest reappeared box in hand, transformed. She’d covered the box with white paper and added a map of the world over it. On one corner of the box she added a tongue depressor poppping up with sticky tack on the end. On several index cards she’d colored a country flag on one side and the name of the country on the other. We looked over each flag and talked about what foods she’d already eaten that came from each country. She titled the box – and our game – “Where Do We Eat?” You’ll notice from her list that she started at “C” when looking up countries; we may be eating from countries beginning with “C” for a few months. That’s okay. I’ve always wanted to try food from Costa Rica.

Eating around the world game

We also decided on a plan. Each week we’re going to draw out a flag from the box. We’ll put that flag at the top of the box stuck in place on the end of the tongue depressor. Together we’ll look up information about that country – the climate, the traditions, the language … the food! Then we’ll decide on a recipe or two to make for a special meal all about that country.

Eating around the world game

If you want to help your kids develop global taste buds you don’t have to try this game. Sit down with your kids and ask them to think up a game that works for your family.

Now who’s ready to start eating? If you pull up the Mexico card, I highly recommend authentic red chile enchiladas. For the card featuring France, try making some crepes. And if your child pulls the German card, you should really try spaetzle. Interested in Ireland? Plenty of Irish recipes here.



Kristen J. Gough is the Global Cuisines & Kids Editor for Wandering Educators. She shares her family's adventurous food experiences--and recipes--at


All photos courtesy and copyright Kristen J. Gough