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Making Fruits & Vegetables Fun!

Written by: Julia Hop Hing, BASc. (c) 
Reviewed by: Mirieta Selimovska, MHSc. (c)

 

The Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) announced 2021 as the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables! With so many different varieties available and their abundance of health benefits, it’s important to expose children to fruits and vegetables of different colours, shapes, and tastes. This will help grow their awareness and knowledge at an early age. 


There are plenty of ways to encourage children to try different fruits and vegetables. Here are a few fun activities:

 

1. Sorting game.  

Gather fruits and vegetables from your kitchen or print out images from online. Place the items on a table and ask your kids to sort them by fruit/vegetable, sweet/savory, or where the food was grown (tree/bush/ground).

 

2. Create a plate. 

Present a variety of foods, including pre-chopped fruits and vegetables, and have your kids create their ideal plate. When they’re finished, have a conversation about what a balanced plate looks like and how plates can be customized to one’s liking.

 

3. Cook together in the kitchen.  

Each week try choosing a new fruit or vegetable as the “food of the week”. Ask your kids to touch, smell, and taste the food, then show them how to chop it, cook it, and incorporate it into various meals throughout the week.

 

4. Grow a home garden or visit a farm.  

Planting seeds and watching them grow into food can be a very rewarding and inspiring experience. Try growing different types of fruits and veggies at home like tomatoes, kale, or strawberries. You can also visit a local farm or orchard at the start and/or end of the harvesting season! This is a great way to teach your kids about how food is grown, how to care for different types of produce, and how to know when foods are ready to be eaten.

 

Learning about fruits and vegetables is an important part of fostering healthy eating habits. For other fun ideas, stay tuned for FAO’s Children’s Activity Book that will be released later this year! You can also check out the Rainbow Plate website to find fun sensory food activities that will encourage your children to learn about healthy eating.

For more information on the benefits of fruits and vegetables, as well as how to incorporate them into your family’s favourite snacks and meals, check out our previous blog post: Enjoy More Fruits and Vegetables!


References: 

Dietitians of Canada. (2018, May 1). How many vegetables and fruit do you need? Retrieved from: https://www.unlockfood.ca/en/Articles/Canada-s-Food-Guide/How-many-Vegetables-and-Fruit-do-you-need.aspx#:~:text=Eating%20enough%20vegetables% 20and%20fruit,of%20heart%20disease%20and%20cancer.


FAO. (2021). International year of fruits and vegetables 2021. Retrieved from: http://www.fao.org/fruits-vegetables-2021/communication-toolkit/en/


Government of Canada. Eat (2021, January 26). A Variety of Fruits and Vegetables Each Day. Retrieved from: https://food-guide.canada.ca/en/


Rainbow Plate. (2020). Rainbow Plate: Healthy Eating Made Simple. Retrieved from: 

https://www.rainbowplate.com/