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Knickerbocker glory: Explore healthy eating

Updated Thursday, 20th February 2020
Use this simple and fun activity to teach your child about healthy eating.

This activity is intended to be a fun way to talk with your child about healthy eating and choices.

You will need

A tall glass, selection of ice cream, various kinds of fruit, jelly, cream, yoghurt, flavoured syrups, candy sprinkles, small sweets


  • Ask your child to choose six ingredients to put into the knickerbocker glory. The only rule is that the knickerbocker glory should end up being both healthy and delicious. This means that at least three of the ingredients must be ‘healthy’.
  • Let your child make their own choices but ask why each ingredient has been chosen. This is an opportunity for your child to tell you anything they know about healthy and unhealthy foods. Try to let the child make the decisions, but remind them about the ‘rule’.
  • Help your child put their six ingredients into the glass. As you add the ingredients, you can tell your child any additional information about them (turn over for some ideas).
  • Eat up and enjoy!

The explanation

This activity is about having some fun with your child. But it is also about practising listening to them and giving them real choices.

  • Listen — to the knowledge that your child already has about healthy and unhealthy foods; they may know more than you realise!
  • Give choices — about how to combine foods to make a treat which is healthy and fun.
  • Tell your child — about things they may not already know about healthy eating.
  • Ask your child — how they feel about adults sharing the responsibility of making sure that children eat a healthy diet and look after themselves.

Some information you might like to use

Ice cream may not contain any milk or cream! In an attempt to reduce fat, some ice creams can be high in artificial ingredients and sugar and have very little nutritional value. But children need some fat in their diet, and milk products also contain calcium which is great for growing bones and teeth — so real ice cream isn’t so bad!

Fruit is good for you! Different fruits have different benefits, but most contain Vitamin C which helps you keep well. Our bodies cannot store up Vitamin C so you need to eat food with it in every day. And many fruits contain natural sugar and give us quick bursts of energy because this sugar is made up of ‘simple’ carbohydrates. But some fruit, like bananas and apples, give you long-lasting energy because they contain ‘complex’ carbohydrates.

Sweets and syrup taste good and give you a quick boost of energy because they contain sugary simple carbohydrates which are burnt up quickly by our bodies. The problem is sweets and syrup don’t have much else that’s good and they can harm our teeth. Don’t fill yourself up on this kind of food, and eat it with your main meal so that your teeth will be cleaned naturally as you eat, as well as by you and your toothbrush!


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