Welcome to Food Bingo, the fun game to help kids to try new foods in 2 easy steps!
Food Bingo was designed to be interactive, so kids will be eating a variety of foods as they play from customized Food Bingo Cards that you have created.
The Food Bingo Card Generator is best viewed on a larger screen (computer or tablet), so that you can see the full menu of food categories and the preview card all at once.
Food Bingo is a great game for helping picky eaters try new foods!
Step 1: Create Your Personalized Food Bingo Cards
Food for thought:
- When playing the interactive version of the game, you will be providing portions of each food on your Food Bingo cards to your players, so make sure you have the foods in stock or can easily obtain them before you play.
- Think about how many unique foods you want to prepare and serve. For example, if you want to serve strawberries🍓, blueberries🫐, spinach🥬, carrots🥕, and pretzels🥨, this will take up 5 squares on the cards if each food appears once. The smallest card (3 x 3) has 9 squares, but you can repeat foods so that they appear more than once on your card. The Food Bingo Card Generator makes this easy to do!
- Please note that if you repeat foods on your card 🍎🍎, the card generator places the foods in random positions on each card (each card is unique), so you may have some cards where the same food is found in neighboring squares (ex. apple 🍎 next to apple 🍎). This shouldn’t be a problem for game play though, because the caller’s card will also have the same foods repeated, so the chances of achieving bingo are the same.
- Keep in mind the ages of your Food Bingo players when deciding how big or how complex to make your card. A small (3 x 3) or medium (4 x 4) card is best for most younger players, as the game will go faster.
- 🥨 It’s a good idea to include a combination of foods that are new to your players and foods that are familiar and preferred. Having some familiar foods that your players already like. or something easy like ‘water’, will make the game more fun and make them more likely to try foods that are new or ‘scary’.
- ⏰ Some families like to play the game over a week or longer, rather than sitting down and doing it all at once. For example, each day 1 food can be drawn from the hat and prepared for the child(ren) to try and the work to achieve Bingo over the week (or month). Larger bingo cards might be ideal for this approach (5×5).
Make your cards:
- Design your cards:
- Start by entering a Card Title if you would like to have a title appear on your printed cards (this is optional).
- Select a Grid Size ( 3 x 3, 4 x 4, or 5 x 5)
- Check the box if you would like to include a Free Space on your card
- It’s important to select your Grid Size & Free Space before choosing your foods. If you change the Grid Size or Free Space once you’ve started selecting foods, your board will be wiped clean.
- Select your foods:
- Click on any of the blue food category buttons (Vegetables, Fruits, Nuts & Seeds, Grains, etc) to expand the drop-down menu for the category.
- Each food has a + button to add it to the board, or a – button to remove it from the board
- Remember you can add each food more than once to the board. Just press the + sign again if you would like to add a food more than once.
- To ‘collapse’ or ‘expand’ any food category menu, simply click on the blue food category button.
- The preview card can be used to keep track of what you have added and how many foods you still have to add. The foods you choose will be used to create a set of randomized bingo cards, where the foods will be in different places on each unique card. You will receive access to your customized PDF upon checkout.
- Add your own:
- If there’s a food you’d like to play with, but you can’t find it on our menu, you can add your own using the green ‘Add Your Own’ button!
- Click on ‘Add Your Own’
- You can add a picture of the food & a title
- Click on the gray Apple icon to upload an image of the food (optional)
- Type the name of the Food in the ‘Enter Name’ field (required)
- Click + to add the food to the board
- If you would like to add more than 1 new food, click the Orange ‘Add More’ button
- Once you’ve filled up your card, click on Next Step to choose the number of Food Bingo cards per page (large = 1 card per page; small = 2 cards per page).
- Choose the number of cards you would like to print (10, 30, or 50), and then click Next Step to preview your order before checking out.
- If you see any errors on the preview, simply select ‘Create Grid’ from the green menu above the preview to go back to the Food Bingo Generator and make any changes.
- Once you have checked out, your PDF will be generated with your Bingo Cards. Please save it to a safe place on your computer so you can use it as often as you’d like. You’re welcome to share your cards with friends or on social media; we just ask that you don’t edit them.
- You’re ready to play Food Bingo!
Step 2: Play Food Bingo
Food Bingo is an interactive game, and kids will be eating as they play, so please be sure to screen children for any food allergies or sensitivities before playing to keep everyone safe. Also be aware of foods that may be a choking hazard, especially when playing with toddlers or young children.
It helps to get the following supplies ready before you play:
- Printed Cards from your PDF or Digital Cards (see below for more information on digital cards) for each player.
- Bingo Caller’s Card – we recommend printing 2 copies of the Bingo Caller’s Card (see page 3 of your PDF). One copy will be used to cut out the individual food squares to fold up and put in a hat or bowl. The other copy will be used to check off the foods that have already been called.
- Bingo Chips, which can be anything you have readily available, including macaroni noodles, paperclips, raisins, construction paper cut up into small squares etc. Another option is to laminate the cards, and the kids can cross off foods with dry-erase markers.
- Small servings of each food on the card for each player. Give each child several pieces of each food on the game card, including more if you have larger bingo cards or plan to play several rounds. Each child may have their own plate with little mounds of each food, or use a muffin tray, muffin cups or ramekins to separate each food.
- Note: this game can also be played without food at all as a more traditional bingo game, which is still a great way to introduce kids to new foods!
If you don’t have access to a printer, or prefer to conserve paper, Food Bingo can be played by providing each player with a digital snapshot of a bingo card. Each child will need a device (tablet, phone etc). The easiest way to do this is simply use the device’s camera to take a snapshot of a different bingo card for each child. The snapshot can be taken from the food bingo pdf opened on a computer or tablet. Each bingo card has a unique ID at the top to make sure everyone has a different card. Players can either physically set Bingo Chips on the device to keep track, or they can use a photo markup tool to draw an X over the foods as they play. ** Be sure to change the auto-lock settings on the device to make sure the screen doesn’t lock in the middle of the game**.
- If the cards include a free square, everyone can start by putting a chip on their free square.
- The ‘Caller’ will explain to the players what they have to do in order to place a bingo chip. Options may include:
- Players must eat a piece of the food called before placing a chip.
- Players must hold or smell the food before placing a chip (this can help kids who experience extreme resistance to trying new things).
- If playing without food, players simply place a chip when they hear the name of the food.
- The Bingo Caller will pull one of the folded squares from the hat or bowl, read the food name to the group & show them the picture. Players who eat (or smell etc) the food called may place a chip on their bingo card for the food that was called. Some bingo cards will have repeated foods, so players may have a choice of where to set their chip for each food. Use the 2nd copy of your caller’s card to check off foods you have already called.
- The game continues until a player’s chips have formed a complete horizontal row, vertical column or a diagonal in the case of a 3×3 or 5×5 card. Winning diagonally is not possible on a 4×4 card.
- The player calls out ‘BINGO’ when they have won. At this point a new game can be started, or you can continue to play until everyone has reached ‘BINGO