Do your children believe fruit only exists in a roll up or by the foot? Do you offer them a variety of fruit and veggies? When my youngest son, Chad, was in preschool they did an activity with fruits and vegetables. His teacher commented that Chad could identify more fruits and vegetables than any other child. I was impressed but also surprised since I rarely went to the grocery store or cooked when my boys were younger. I have always been a working mom and my husband didn't come home until after dinner so we usually went out to eat. But we have always had salads and vegetables with our meals, which is probably why Chad became a fruit and vegetable "expert" at such a young age. Times and habits have changed and now the number one reason I go to the grocery store is to replenish my supply of fresh fruit and vegetables.
After reading Stone Soup to my students, I assigned them each a particular vegetable to bring in so we could make the soup. We played a game naming and sorting the vegetables. Most of them could not name even the most common vegetables. They referred to every item as "salad."
"Taste the Rainbow" doesn't just apply to Skittles. There is a much healthier way to teach your child to eat a variety of nutritious foods. Going shopping with kids can be a challenge, but you can turn the produce aisle into your own rainbow hunting grounds. Together, find a fruit or vegetable from every color of the rainbow. Talk about the name of the item. Buy a few and try them out. Try them raw, cooked, steamed or look up recipes. Be open and, most importantly, don't let your own preferences influence your child. For example, if you think you don't like broccoli, try it again but prepared in different way. You may surprise yourself!
Try these four type of veggie tots: Who doesn't love a good tot?
Begin your hunt, it will be fun. Let me know how it goes when you are done.
Challenge your family to eat at least three colors a day.
Here are two books that I recommend that will ignite a conversation with your child about eating new foods.
Gregory the Terrible Eater
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