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Looking for something fun to do with your kids this summer? Take them to a farmers’ market! With more and more markets featuring demonstrations, music and other entertainment, it’s a great family outing. As an added bonus, bringing your children to a farmers’ market may help them to eat their fruits and vegetables. Farmers often have samples of fresh fruits and vegetables for you to try. When kids are involved in picking out (and cooking) food, they’re more likely to eat it.

Here are some fun farmers’ market activities:

• Let your kids pick out vegetables they’d like for dinner.
• Ask your children to find three vegetables or fruits they’ve never heard of before.
• Find funny looking or unusually colored vegetables, like twisted carrots, bumpy potatoes and orange cauliflower.
• Find a fruit or vegetable for every color of the rainbow.  For example:

o Red: tomatoes, strawberries, peppers
o Orange: carrots, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, apricots
o Yellow: wax beans, corn, yellow onions
o Green: lettuce, broccoli, peppers, zucchini
o Blue: blue potatoes, blueberries
o Purple: plums, eggplant, blackberries, beets

Tips for stretching your dollar at farmers’ markets:

• Before you buy, walk around to all the stalls to see who has the best price.
• Buy fruits and vegetables that are at the peak of their season. That’s when they usually cost less and taste best! To see when different fruits and vegetables are in season, visit http://www.mass.gov/agr/massgrown/images/availability_chart.jpg
• Ask farmers if they give a discount for buying in bulk.
• Check to see if the market accepts WIC farmers’ market coupons if you’ve received them, or the SNAP card if you have SNAP benefits.

For a list of farmers’ markets across the state, visit
http://massnrc.org/farmlocator/map.aspx?Type=Farmers%20Markets

What do YOU like best about going to farmers’ markets? Let us know!

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