Have fun with food
If you want to get your kids to love fruits, vegetables and other superstar foods, let them play with these foods. Kids should learn to enjoy the touch, smell, and colors of various foods and they should be allowed to discover fun ways to engage with food. Letting them create their own recipes will help them to connect with food. Sure they can make a face on a whole grain pancake, or decorate an open face peanut butter sandwich – but there are many more ways to have fun with food:
- Cut watermelon and melon into balls or other fun shapes like stars and flowers. You can use small cookie cutters.
- Use chives and scallions to create a ‘grass base” for other vegetables.
- Put hummus or bean dip into small paper cups and let your kids “plant” vegetables like celery stalks, peppers and carrot sticks.
- Thinly sliced carrots, cucumbers, zucchini and squash can be used to create 3-D pictures.
- Use cauliflower florets as “the body” for lambs, and use small pieces of black olives for the eyes.
- Use whole grain pretzel twigs to make a bird’s nest for a hard-boiled egg to sit on.
- Blind fold your kids and let them ‘taste and guess” the fruit or vegetable identity
- Use raisins and peanut butter on celery to make “ants on a log.”
- Make banana slice “cookies” with peanut butter or other nut butter filling.
- Play math games with your kids as they count how many fruits or vegetables are in a half pound or pound.
- Play “find the color” as you walk through the produce aisle in the supermarket.
- Older kids and teens should be given carte blanche to research a recipe or full menu, prepare a shopping list and then put on a chef hat in the kitchen and master the art of cooking.