Farmer’s markets are ripe with foods many picky eaters won’t touch, right? Wrong! The summer season is the perfect time to get the family active in making healthy choices while supporting the local economy at the farmer’s market. We’re here to help with a few tips and tricks, because you can’t just serve up kid favorites like mac and cheese or pizza every day when there are so many fresh, seasonal and budget-friendly foods available!
To get your kids interested and educated about nutritious options, make healthy eating an experience instead of a chore. This summer, get the kids involved by heading to your local farmer’s market and make the most of your trip with these ideas:
Give kids control: Let them pick out food that they want to try. With so many great in-season fruits and veggies to choose from, it’s hard to make a bad choice. Encourage them to find something new to try that your family can incorporate into your meal that day.
Get them cooking: Keep a kid-friendly recipe in mind when you head out to the farmer’s market and pick up the ingredients to whip up a fun meal with the kids. There are many great recipes that are as easy to make, as they are creative, so that everyone has a great time in the kitchen making fresh and healthy choices.
Make it a game: Have some fun with your trip by giving kids a mission to find food for your next meal. By turning the food into a goal to find, they will be more inclined to give it a try later on.
Understand their value: Saying that carrots are healthy doesn’t make a child want to snack on the nutrient-enriched vegetable because of its value. As you’re shopping, explain why certain foods are good for your health. For example, try talking about how carrots have lots of vitamin A, which helps their eyes function so that they can see more clearly when they’re playing sports in the park.
Talk about how food makes them feel: Start a conversation with the kids about how they feel after eating certain foods. Look at different types of foods and talk about if it makes them more energetic, full, sleepy or sick. Getting kids to associate how food affects their bodies is important in making better decisions down the road.
Taking your family to the local farmer’s market is the first step in encouraging your kids to make healthy choices. Remember, you are a role model when it comes to your child and their eating habits. Show your kids the importance of eating fresh and local foods through your own dietary choices and actions.
Photo Credit: Greg Bishop