USDA key monthly message make half your plate fruits and vegetables
Posted on Sep 16, 2011 by Maggie LaBarbera
Keep kids focused on adding more fruits and vegetables to their plate.
Benefits of fruits and vegetables
- Fruits and vegetables are very high in a number of nutrients that most kids do not get enough of.—vitamins A, C and K, potassium, fiber and magnesium.
- Fruits and vegetables help your body combat many chronic diseases.
- Fruits and vegetables are pretty low in calories
Remind kids that each color does a different helpful thing for the body. That is why you want more fruits and vegetables and a variety of colors.
But how do you get them to eat more? Well, of course one solution will not work for kids since just like the rest of us... they have different likes, dislikes, personality etc. So many variables that will affect a child's willingness to eat more fruits and vegetables, that you really have to try different techniques.
Patience and understanding is primary. If you are stressed they will feel it and the whole experience will not be pleasant. That can lead to negative feelings and internal associations that can last a life time!
But there are things you can try and here a few suggestions:
- Have them use a tablespoon and add one scoop of fruit and vegetable for every food they scoop on their plate
- Have them plan the menu with you so they will be more interested in trying the food
- Have them help prepare the fruits and vegetables so they again will be more interested in trying the foods they helped make
- Have kids name the fruit and vegetable plates - it makes it more fun and appealing
- Share some funny stories about fruits and vegetables - make them up!
- If you can, find a nearby farm where you can pick some fresh fruit and vegetables right from the ground. You will be surprised how much impact this can be for a child
Other fun fruits and vegetables resources:
MyPlate Grains Coloring Sheet
Go to our Cooking Is Fun Classroom Worksheets and Activity Page
for a complete list of our free printable cooking class and recipe activity sheets.