This is the start of the Spring harvest season, All this fresh fruit and veggies is exciting for grown ups, it 's either boring or to use a kid descriptive "icky". That attitude can change , allowing them to not only enjoy healthy but delicious eating as well. Make nature's bounty fun and tasty and you're bound to make a fan for life.
One of the best ways to acclimate the little ones to produce is by taking them to the many farmer's markets beginning now as well as to farms. Farmer's markets are great for kids. They can see, touch and smell produce. They can ask questions to the growers who will be more than happy to supply answers. These future home chefs also get to try other homemade treats like fresh churned butter and homemade granola. Get the kids involved in the shopping process too. Ask what they'd like to do with the veggies and fruits. Brainstorm meal and dessert ideas with them. Farms are great for the little ones too. Kids can see how fruits and vegetables are grown. Some farms, like Delicious Orchards in Colt's Neck, New Jersey have areas to pick the first strawberry and raspberry harvests of the season. The little ones and even those bored teenagers will love this, especially if they can sneak eat a berry or two . Make sure you bring plenty of sunscreen along with hats and sunglasses along with a cooler of chilled water.
What happens when the veggies and fruit come home? There are endless possibilities, Make tomato pops by taking plum or cherry tomatoes and inserting lollipop or candy apple sticks in the stem area. Have a mini dip bar set up with small bowls of three or four different salad dressings . Kids hate spinach? Make fun spinach roll ups using just Pillsbury breadsticks and a pound of spinach. Parmesan cheese gives it punch but you could also use garlic to zest it up. The spinach leaves themselves can also be used as wraps. Fill with diced potatoes and peppers or tomatoes, broccoli and corn, Kids love cheese sauce and you could make a cheddar sauce to pour over rolls to liven them up..Ears of corn are starting to be seen right now and these are always fun to eat.Have a bowl of melted butter on hand to dip the ears in or for a healthier alternative, try a mild salsa. Dessert can be a peach sundae. This is simply a pitted peach half with a small dollop of ice cream in the middle. It's a cute way of introducing kids to summer fruit. Blueberries are just coming into season too . These are great with cereal or as part of a yogurt parfait. Layer them and the yogurt along with granola in a parfait glass for a yummy dessert or snack.
Kids can actually love veggies and fruits if they're introduced to them in a fun , tasty way. Theywon't make a face when they see spinach or strawberries. They'll just smile.