The farmers market has long been a favorite destination in our family, and it was our very first family outing with our daughter at three weeks old. Each spring we look forward to the return of our favorite markets, now with our preschool age daughter and toddler son in tow. Farmers markets are a wonderful way to get kids interested in where their food comes from and excited about eating vegetables – even if they’re finicky about food. Here are five tips for to avoid veggie avoidance:
5. Cook with your kids
Cooking with children isn’t always the fastest way to get food on the table, but chances are your children will be more willing to try foods they helped prepare. My own daughter refused to eat carrots for months…until I let her peel one herself. Now I have a peeling assistant, and she’s eating her carrots!
4. Let them pick the ingredients
Giving your kids a say in what’s on the menu can make trying something new easier. It doesn’t guarantee they’ll love every eggplant and parsnip they help you bring home, but helping to choose what’s for dinner does make my preschooler more willing to at least consider the new vegetables that make their way onto her plate.
3. Pair old favorites with new tastes
Trying something new is less daunting when there are familiar foods on the plate. When I want my daughter to give a new vegetable a chance, I make sure she also has two or three old favorites to choose from at dinnertime.
2. Make trying new things a game
Who can eat the most bites of something new? Who can try everything on their plate first?
1. Let the (farmers) market be your guide
The vegetables and fruits that are in season always taste best…what better time to introduce your child to asparagus than when it’s at its peak? Taking a walk around the farmers market to see what is best right here, right now never fails to get everyone in our family talking about what we should make for dinner.
After a long winter and lots of squashes and root vegetables, I’m looking forward to the return of the greens of spring when the Pike Central Farm Market re-opens on April 13.