One of the greatest gifts we can share with the children in our lives is a love of fruits and vegetables. Make trying new foods an adventure and children are more likely to enjoy them. Grocery stores and farmers markets can be fun places to explore. Here are a few tips:
- Plan a tasting party. Tell your children you need help planning a tasting party for the family. Get them in on the action.
- Come up with some ground rules: they have to choose a fruit or vegetable that is green, for example. Or red, yellow or orange. You get the idea. Let each child select 1 new fruit or vegetable each trip.
- When you get home, let the children help wash the produce. Slice it into bite-size pieces. Make the occasion festive. Set the table and put out colorful napkins or special decorations you might have. A fun activity for children may be for them to make a table decoration. Let everyone have a slice of each of the fruits or vegetables selected and let them vote on their favorite.
- On another trip to the store, you might have your children find all the produce items that are a particular color. This can be fun for preschool age children and it reinforces what they are learning about colors and shapes. Older children might find a fruit or vegetable they have never heard of and then look up information about it, along with finding ways on how to prepare it.
- Allow children to pick a new fruit or vegetable each week.
- Incorporate math lessons into the grocery store visit; ask children to help weigh and compare costs of food items.
Pick a smart time to shop. The trip will be less successful if you and your child are hungry. It’s also not fun when the store is crowded. If you don’t have any other option, buy a bag of baby carrots to snack on. Stay away from the snack aisles.