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NOURISH

Farmers market finds: Taming a picky eater

Do you deal with a picky eater at home? Here's an idea. Try venturing out to your local farmers market as a way to entice and encourage your kid to be a more adventurous eater. 

Farmers markets offer a great opportunity for families of all ages to learn about and experience fresh, healthy foods in a positive setting. It can feel good to browse a farmers market. The vendors are smiling, and your community comes together in a joyful way that can be infectious, setting a tone for healthy eating. Plan a weekly family trip to the farmers market to set the stage for a lifetime of healthy choices!

Here are a few ways your farmers markets can help encourage healthier eating habits for even the pickiest of kids:

  • Offers a rainbow of colorful, new and exciting foods choices to explore.
    Helping select their own food will allow your kids the chance to pick up produce, exploring its texture and fresh aroma. They get exposure to more unusual vegetables, like a bundle of purple asparagus or a bunch of yellow beets, for example. 
  • Gives kids the chance to ask questions about fruits and vegetables that are new to them.
    This interaction with the farmers can create teachable moments about food and nutrition. 
  • Turn the weekly family trip to the farmers market into a family game.
    One good one is "I spy with my little eye...A fruit that is round, a vegetable that is orange or a food that begins with the letter B."
  • To engage older children give them a budget and money to make their own purchases.
    Children are more likely to eat what they choose, plus they get practice counting out dollars and cents.
  • Many growers and vendors offer samples.
    Start by giving kids samples of fruit and veggies they already love. If they like carrots try a purple carrot or a yellow or orange watermelon instead of the usual red one. Even if your child doesn't ever taste the sample, just carrying the morsel in a paper cup or in his bare hands builds familiarity—which can be a first step in food exploration!

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