Do your kids ever see whole fruits and vegetables at home before they go into their sack lunch or onto the dinner table? It seems that most of our food has been processed in some way by the time we purchase it at the grocery store. Even in the produce department you can see peeled, cut and bagged fruit and veggies everywhere you look – from apple slices to salad mixes to baby carrots.
As busy parents we often need to prepare food that is quick and easy. You don’t need to take these conveniences out of the equation all together but it is important for our kids to know what whole fruit and vegetables look like before it get’s to its “eating” stage.
Kids are very curious by nature. Taking them to farmers markets where the food is less handled and at it’s freshest point from the time it is harvest. They will be fascinated to see that their baby carrots are long and skinny with a green leafy top and that they just don’t come out of a plastic bag. Plus, your kids may be surprised to learn carrots even come in different colors!
Another way to teach your kids about whole fruits and vegetables is to plant a garden. If you have the time and space for a lot of different plants, gardens can be a fantastic learning experience for the whole family. Even if you just have a couple of small pots with a tomato plant and maybe some herbs, you can create a small potted garden on your doorstep. A lot can be learned from the seed to table process. As adults we sometimes forget how cool it was to see the inside of a bell pepper for the first time with it’s many seeds or how a kiwi was like a piece of art with its shades of green with black seeds in rows within.
Kids have fun exploring and eating whole pieces of fruit and vegetables and that is good for their health and nutrition.