PBS HealthyKids

Common Sense Media says

Entrée into PBS's tastiest online goods for healthy eating.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

Site is sponsored with links to outside complementary yet commercial content.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

Games have optional accounts with username- and password-based logins (rather than email addresses) to save scores. 

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know PBS HealthyKids is a portal to all the PBS Kids content that revolves around healthy eating. Sponsored by Whole Foods Market, it has a colorful variety of activities that teach young kids about good food choices, helping them celebrate "tiny victories." If you know and love PBS, you won't be disappointed. Because a lot of the content is for grown-ups (such as a weekly meal calendar), preschoolers as young as 4 should have adult company as they navigate through this collection of Web-based games, videos, recipes, and tips all related to food and healthy eating.

What kids can learn

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Snappy graphics, cute characters, simple controls, and, on the whole, good food. Parents will be able to translate tips and recipes into healthful fun for kids.

Learning Approach

Parents will easily translate recipes and ideas into better health for their families. A bit more kid-oriented content and more depth in the educational games would help boost learning.

Support

Navigation is better than with other PBS portal sites, and quality help is available for each game and activity.   

What kids can learn

Kids can learn about the small steps they can take to make healthy food choices. They'll learn how animals eat, and what it means to be a herbivore, carnivore, or omnivore from "Have a Brachiosaurs Picnic," and about navigating the local supermarket from a Healthy Minutes video. Lots of the content is for adults who will need to be the ones to facilitate the learning benefit embodied in the site, but kids will have fun with games like "Grocery Bag Bingo," where they'll keep an eye out for fruits and veggies at the supermarket. PBS HealthyKids is a well-rounded resource for both kids and adults who want a fun way to incorporate healthy food into their daily lives. 

This Learning Rating review was written by Leslie Crenna

What's it about?

PBS HEALTHYKIDS pulls together food-related content from all your favorite PBS stars. Peg + Cat and a Whole Foods logo are featured on the colorful front page. Further down or across the top, you can access the Food & Fitness tab from PBS Parents, a whopping 600 kid-pleasing recipes and tips and real family videos via the Kitchen Explorers feature, and food-related games and segments from popular PBS shows such as "Dinosaur Train," "Fizzy's Lunch Lab," and "Healthy Minutes" from Iowa PBS.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

PBS HealthyKids is one of a series of repackaged portal sites that focuses on a particular theme or activity (such as PBS Kids/Lab/Games), bringing all relevant PBS-created content together in one place. What's so great about this one? Food, and lots of it! There's definitely more here for parents than for kids -- for instance, tips about how to impress picky eaters, create healthy meals on a tight budget, and host a kids' cooking competition, plus tools like a meal calendar and recipes...lots of recipes. Korean Kimbap (or Korean-style sushi), Roasted Cauliflower Poppers (gotta try that!), and Zucchini Pancakes (hardly changes the taste at all) are the kind of kid-friendly recipes featured here.  

Unlike some other PBS portal sites, it's generally easy to return to the HealthyKids main page because content is usually delivered in pop-ups (except for the games, which open in new tabs). Adult comments following the recipes in Kitchen Explorers highlight the need for some additional recipe categories that address gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, and nut-free foods. Although the three featured games aren't incredibly inspiring or dense in educational content, they're fun and will help get kids engaged.

Families can talk about...

  • Browse recipes together and plan to follow a new one each week. Use the meal-planning chart to teach concepts such as day of the week at the same time.

  • Make sure to cover kitchen safety before allowing little ones to use sharp knives or cooking appliances. 

  • Introduce your family to other healthy and fun activities that complement a healthy diet, such as gardening or bike riding.

Website details

Genre:Educational

This review of PBS HealthyKids was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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