If you ask an adult who doesn’t eat many fruits and vegetables to describe their eating habits in childhood, they will likely tell you that they grew up not eating fruits and vegetables either. A recent study highlights that the food messages and healthy eating encouragement we receive in our youth, affects how we eat as adults. It’s with this important impact in mind that we need to keep encouraging children to eat more fruits and vegetables. With color, crunch and an assortment of flavors and textures to work with, it’s easy to make eating fruits and veggies fun for kids.
Snack Pals are all about fun adventures and new ideas for incorporating fruits and veggies into your day. They are a cool bunch of interactive characters that like to make learning fun by showcasing their nutrition superpowers through games and activities. On the Snack Pals website, you can also find several kid-friendly recipes.
Follow the Rainbow
Dazzling dishes that highlight the colors of the rainbow will excite kids and encourage them to try something new. Try one of these recipes and pair them with a color wheel craft* to help kids see just how colorful their diet can be!
*Make a color wheel: Simply cut a paper into a circle, divide the circle into wedges (like a pizza), outline each wedge with a different color, and fill in the wedge with pictures, stickers or simply write down the foods your child tries. At the end of the week (or day) show your child how colorful their fruits and vegetables are (and identify the colors they still need to consume more of!).
Kid-friendly foods with a Twist
Enhance your child’s diet through recipes that they already love made with a tiny twist that boosts the nutrition through added (unexpected!) fruits and veggies. Offer these Monster Muffins (made with spinach!) in the morning, serve this Colorful Veggie Slaw with lunch, and finish the day with Sweet & Sour Veggie Bites.
I’ve written before that gardening can inspire kids to embrace fruits and vegetables. Gardening can also teach many lessons and offer an opportunity to be physically active. Whether you have space for raised beds or want to gather pots on your patio or porch, we can all engage in nurturing plants with kids. Try growing basil or grape tomatoes that you can pair with kid-friendly recipes like BLT Pasta Salad or Pesto (ideal for a unique pizza or panini).
Visit the Farm (or farmer’s market!)
Showing kids where their food comes from is not only an important lesson, but it’s also a great way to get them excited about fruits and vegetables. If you’re lucky enough to speak with a farmer, your kids will likely be in awe of how hard they work to bring precious produce to your family dinner table. If you’re not able to visit a farm or farmers market, consider a virtual tour!