Hi, and welcome back to Together Thursday! This weekend, incorporate healthy food on a fun and adventurous family outing. Do you have a local farmers’ market? How about a trip to a u-pick farm? Your kids will see where fresh fruits and vegetables are grown, and then they can participate in picking them together. Or, visit a local garden center to pick up some seeds and start your own indoor herb garden (this will come in handy this winter when many of you won’t be able to grow herbs outdoors).
While you and your family are doing any of these activities, encourage your kids to learn a little more about foods. Here are a few ideas:
- If you visit a farmers’ market, teach your kids about what to look for in fresh produce with this activity from Fizzy’s Lunch Lab. Encourage your kids to ask the vendors questions, since more than likely they are also the growers. How much longer will the foods be in season? How should they be stored when you get home? How long will they last if you store them correctly? Do they have any recipes to prepare specific veggies or fruits?
- Do some grazing, most vendors offer samples of fruits in their peak ripeness.
- If you go to a pick-your-own farm, check to see what is in season. Help your kids learn about the growing seasons by asking the staff about other crops they grow. When are those in season?
- If you decide to grow your own herbs, involve your children in what to grow and what to make. Start by talking and reading with your kids the seed packet instructions. How long will it take for the seeds to sprout? How often will you need to water them? Where should you put the plants so that they get enough sun? Begin to talk about ways to use them.
After your visit to the farmers’ market and you bring home your produce (or herbs), you and your kids can cook up some fresh foods! Have them turn through the pages of a food magazine, surf Allrecipes.com (have them use the ingredient search tool and search by the vegetables, fruits, or herbs you have purchased) or apps like the Allrecipes Dinner Spinner.
Here are a few links to help you out:
• Best Bets for Gardening with Kids
• Eco-Friendly Eating for Kids
• Sesame Street: Plant a Garden
• Fizzy’s Lunch Lab: Veggie Activity
• Healthy Cooking
• Family Fun at the Farmers’ Market
• Crunchy Vegetable Wraps
• Everything is Coming up Broccoli
• Fruity Fun Skewers
Allrecipes.com’s Fresh Bites Back-to-School blogs are in partnership with Hidden Valley Ranch and PBS Kids.