The Incredible Adventures of the Amazing Food Detective

If you have elementary-age school children, and you want them to learn how to make healthy choices to eat better and get more exercise, The Incredible Adventures of the Amazing Food Detective by Kaiser Permanente is something you should add to your list of acceptable Web sites for your children to visit.

The free online video game was developed for children in Kindergarten through 3rd grade. The site is based on the games, and former PBS TV show, Where In The World is Carmen San Diego.

The graphics and sounds are wonderful. Both you and your child will enjoy playing The Incredible Adventures of the Amazing Food Detective game. My nine year old nephew loved playing this game — and so did I!

To play The Incredible Adventures of the Amazing Food Detective Game, you’re given an assignment to investigate and solve for each child, specific to that child’s health problem. While there are areas where the ability to read is beneficial, the main investigator explains nearly everything that you need to know to “solve” a case.

  • The scenarios they depict and want you to investigate are common to many children. The children and their health issues are:
  • Cole – Eats too much junk food
  • Catherine – Not very strong
  • Michael – Doesn’t exercise enough
  • Antonia – Needs to play more
  • Emily – Eats too much
  • Enrique – Teeth and bones are weak
  • Matthew – Tired all of the time
  • Althea – Skips breakfast

When you click on a child, the main investigator will tell you what the problem is, and give you clues to “solve” it. It could be clicking on a soccer ball to indicate getting more exercise and less TV, to choosing a quick and healthy breakfast. While it helps to read, the game is intuitive enough and the main investigator tells you enough that you could play it without being able to read. Play it with your child anyway, you’ll help your child learn and have fun together at the same time.

After solving the case, there are two additional options. Each character that you investigate has a series of three short mini-games that reinforce the solution to their problem, and each also has a series of activities that you can print and do off-line.

The online mini-games are quick and fun. Your child will love going back to them over and over again. The games are specific to the health concern, and serve as a great reinforcement for healthy behavior.

One of the off-line activities is always a healthy recipe, and other items to print that are fun, handy and useful.

For instance, one of the off-line activities is a healthy goal setting chart. The chart is designed to be used for the entire month, and include such things as “I watched less than one hour of TV or video games,” and “I ate 3 to 4 cups of fruits and vegetables.” I liked the charts so much that I’ve printed some for my own family to use, and my daughter is in high school!

You’re probably thinking, great, another video game that will suck my child into the black hole of video games. Nope, not this one. When the game senses that you’ve been playing long enough, it stops and forces you to take a break – and the main investigator even tells you that it’s time to get active!

Best of all, this site is available in English, or in Spanish.

If you want to encourage your kids to learn healthy habits, playing the free online game, The Incredible Adventures of the Amazing Food Detective is a great way to teach them, and reinforce, healthy behaviors that will help them for life.

I can’t wait for the next installment.