By: Nona Evans
Getting your kids to eat their vegetables can certainly be tricky. My son has been known to pick the lettuce out of everything, but through our adventures with eating and nutrition, he has learned to love various types of greens. Just as there are so many varieties of vegetables, there are also so many delicious ways for your kids to choose to enjoy them! Whether it's carrots with dip, macaroni with squash, or a bowl full of cherry tomatoes, there are endless options to discover in the produce aisle, vegetable garden, or farmers' market.
I believe in getting kids involved in their own nutrition to foster a healthy relationship with food, and with the help of Whole Kids Foundation we have made it a priority to bring curiosity and excitement to the mix. Through our work to bring salad bars, edible gardens, and nutrition curriculum to schools around the country, we’ve learned that getting fresh veggies on the plate is easier when your kids get to be a part of the process. In simple terms: when you offer kids good choices, they will make good choices!
And providing these options can be fun for you both! When I’m planning dinner for my family, I let my son roam the produce aisle and challenge him to select the most colorful veggies he can find. This way he discovers his new favorites, and it becomes a fun game for adventurous eating.
Here are some additional ways to get your kids exploring new types of vegetables:
- Visit a pick-your-own fruit farm, ranch, or farmer’s market: Kids love seeing where different foods originate. Encourage them to ask questions, try different varieties, and choose their favorite picks of the crop. Take home some fresh ingredients, and cook together!
- Plant a vegetable or herb garden: Spend an afternoon making an easy seed starter. If you’re short on space, plant an indoor windowsill garden with herbs for cooking.
- Build an at-home salad bar: Fill bowls up with tons of fresh and colorful produce, and challenge your family to build the most vibrant salad they can imagine.
There are so many ways to inspire your kids to eat healthy, and that’s why we believe in continuing these conversations about healthy choices in both the home and in our schools. Given the right opportunities, kids will get excited about fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and other nutritious whole foods.
For even more fun activities be sure to visit your local Whole Foods Market and check out the Whole Kids Club at wholekidsfoundation.org/kids-club/. Every month, you’ll find a variety of free and downloadable crafts and projects to spark your kids’ interest in healthy food!
Nona Evans, Whole Kids Foundation President & Executive DirectorNona has a longstanding passion for improving the experience of children's education. She has married passion with the importance of nutrition and access to healthy food choices through Whole Kids Foundation, a philanthropic endeavor of Whole Foods Market. Driven by a belief that the best way to ensure a bright future is to inspire it in young people, Nona has spent the last chapter of her career focusing on innovative partnerships that improve education and support healthier foodservice programs in schools.