Wish your kids would eat more fruits and vegetables? A visit to your local farmers market can help. As summer turns to fall, farmers markets are bursting with a bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Taking your kids to the farmers market can help make healthier eating into an adventure.
Start by watching a short video from nutrition.gov with your kids to help them learn about shopping at a farmers market and to get them excited about the produce they might find. Visit the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) SNAP-Ed Connection to find out what’s in season and get ideas for menus and more. Next, use the USDA’s National Farmers Market Directory to find a farmers market near you.
Children are more interested in eating new foods when they’ve had a hand in picking it out and preparing it. Use Fruits & Veggies More Matters’ list of the top ten ways to get kids involved. Allow them to pick out a new fruit or vegetable to try from the farmers market. Search the internet for kid-friendly recipes (there are literally millions of possibilities) and have them help cook.
Finally, don’t let your childhood hang-ups regarding fruits or vegetables dampen your child’s interest. If they pick out some beets from the farmers market, take a deep breath and figure out what to do with them. Remember, there are a lot of new ways of cooking foods, so the fact that you never liked your mother’s boiled-to-mushiness beets as a kid doesn’t mean that you won’t like them roasted. Join your child on the adventure and share the excitement of trying new things.
Photo ©2011 by Britt Reints under Creative Commons license via Wikimedia Commons.