MFE Presents: #HealthyGreenFamilies (video)
Help children develop healthy eating habits that will last a lifetime. Learn how to become #HealthyGreenFamilies! For the spring planting season, teach children the value of growing their food. Start by taking a family trip to your local farmers market. Encourage your children to explore the produce by touching, smelling, picking and tasting the different varieties. According to pediatricians and dietitians, this lesson in agriculture is also a great strategy to get picky eaters to try more greens.
“Show an interest in learning about food, nutrition, farming, and cooking,” Natalie D. Muth, MD, MPH, RDN, FAAP, a pediatrician, registered dietitian and the director of the W.E.L.L. healthy living clinic at Children’s Primary Care Medical Group, said in an article. “Many kids will also become interested in foods and seeing what they taste like.”
A Gardening Lesson
While you are at the market, purchase some vegetable seeds to take the Family Seed Challenge. Next, drop by your local library for gardening books, culinary magazines, nutrition books and cookbooks to prepare children for planting their own vegetable gardens. Finish your “teachable moment” by reading these five fun books below.
DYK: The vegetables and fruit from your local farmers market are really home-grown and most likely cultivated in a community near you? According to the USDA, more than 85% of the vendors at farmers markets traveled fewer than 50 miles to sell at a farmers market. More than half of the farmers traveled less than 10 miles.
- Farmers Market Day by Shanda Trent. Join a young girl and her parents as they explore a colorful and bustling farmers market. This book inspires a scavenger hunt for healthy green food. Children can also look for the locations of the farms where the foods are harvested.
- We’re Going to the Farmers Market by Stefan Page. Stroll through the pages of this book with children as if you are still at your local farmers market. Encourage children to think about the similarities and differences between grocery stores and farmers markets.
- What Will Fit by Grace Lin. A young girl wants to find a food item at her local farmers market that will fit perfectly into her basket. She tries different foods such as beets, apples, zucchini and eggplant before finding a perfect pumpkin that fits.
- Go, Little Green Truck by Roni Schotter. The little green truck had been abandoned on the farm until a family decided to fix it up for the farmers market! This book provides opportunities for children to think about the origins of their food.
- On the Farm, At the Market by Brian G. Karas. Follow the farmers as they harvest fruit and vegetables in preparation to sell at the farmers market. This book is truly jam-packed with information about growing and harvesting food.
What’s for Dinner?
Discover nutrition tips, healthy recipes, fun gardening guides and more with The MFE Nutrition Collection and Little Chef’s Corner on the resources page. New resources are coming! So visit this collection often.
- MFE Presents: Spring Gardening Tips
- Grow It, Try It, Like It! Fun with Fruits and Vegetables at Family Child Care
- Fun Children’s Books about Healthy Food
- This Summer, Eat Smart to Play Hard (A Parents’ Guide)
- Tips for Teachers: Promoting Healthy Eating
- Team Nutrition Garden Resources