Posted by: Terri Mendoza, WIC Nutritionist
Do you have a hard time getting your children to eat their fruits and vegetables? Bringing them to your local farmers’ market may help! The 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 a fruit or vegetable for every color of the rainbow. For example:
- Red: tomatoes, strawberries, peppers
- Orange: carrots, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, apricots
- Yellow: wax beans, corn, yellow onions
- Green: lettuce, broccoli, peppers, zucchini
- Blue: blue potatoes, blueberries
- Purple: plums, eggplant, blackberries, beets
- Find funny looking vegetables, like twisted carrots and bumpy potatoes.
Check with your local WIC office to find out if the farmers’ market near you accepts WIC fruit and vegetable checks.
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. For example, tomatoes in July cost more than they do at the end of August. In August, the farmer’s fields are often overflowing with tomatoes, so they’ll be sold at a lower price. 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.
For a list of farmers’ markets across the state, visit http://www.mass.gov/agr/massgrown/farmers_markets.htm
How do you plan to make farmers' market visits fun this year with your family? Let us know!