While the beginning of a new school year is upon us; the summer harvests are in. I hope you are enjoying the fresh fruits and vegetables available at the many local farmer's markets, restaurants, and grocery stores this time of year.
From apples to zucchini, take the time to explore the different aromas, shapes, textures, colors and flavors of produce with your kids. Help their senses come alive. This will enable them to expand their palates, and help to minimize that 'picky eater' syndrome when it comes to fresh produce.
1. Encourage your kids to select one new and different food from the fresh produce aisle during trips to the supermarket. What's that brown fuzzy fruit over there? A kiwi! Crisp, sweet sugar snap pea pods dipped in reduced fat ranch dressing or hummus make for a good snack.
2. Use different utensils or kitchen gadgets to encourage kids to eat fruits or vegetables. A spiral apple slicer provides fun in the kitchen and a new, exciting way to eat an apple.
3. Have kids put an apron on, use math skills to measure out ingredients, and practice cracking eggs into bowls as they make zucchini bread, blueberry muffins, carrot cake or even tomato topped brushetta. Enjoy the aroma of these fresh baked items.
4. For a cool treat on a hot day take a refreshing break with a watermelon or mango smoothie.
5. Be sure to talk age appropriate facts with kids and educate them on colors, flavors, and simple nutrients in produce. Statements like 'these carrots make your eyes sparkle and help you to see better' deliver important messages to young children.
With fresh produce the possibilities to share health, wellness, and fun with your children are endless; and the memories made together are priceless. #kidseatright #kidsinthekitchen