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Food Fun For Your Pint-Sized Chef

Contributed by: News Canada

(NC) - Every year in Ontario, hundreds of local farmer's markets throughout throughout the province are overflowing with a variety of brightly coloured fruit and vegetables this time of year, so why not take your kids along for some extra fun and help develop healthy eating habits?

Getting children involved in the selection of fruit and vegetables is an effective way to create enthusiasm for these very healthy foods. Eating Well with Canada's Food Guide recommends five to eight servings of fruit and vegetables every day - and yet sometimes it's hard to get children to eat just one!

According to experts, kids often need to see a food several times before they accept it and eat it, especially vegetables. But as the taste and variety become more familiar - along with the fun of selecting them, growing them, and even helping prepare them - a lot of this reluctance can disappear.

For children to grow into strong and healthy adults, they should be eating fruit and vegetables as snacks throughout the day, in addition to having them at meals. According to the recently updated Canada's Food Guide, one serving equals one, medium-size piece of fresh produce, or 125 ml (1/2 cup) of fresh, frozen, or canned vegetables and fruit. If you would like a few additional tips on getting creative, take a look at these year-round strategies from the HealthyOntario.com website:

  • Serve raw vegetables with a low-fat salad dressing or yogurt-based dip.

  • Have pre-cut melon cubes, washed grapes, carrot sticks and sugar snap peas in re-sealable containers in your fridge for snacking.

  • Add fresh berries to cereal or as a topping for yogurt.

  • Use frozen berries, ripe bananas, or canned peaches in smoothies.

  • Grate carrots and zucchini for salads, pasta sauce, pita or wrapped sandwiches.

  • Serve broccoli, carrot, squash, vegetable or minestrone soup.

  • Add frozen green peas or baby carrots to chicken noodle soup.

  • Add single-serve containers of fruit into lunch boxes. Unsweetened applesauce, canned peaches, pears, mandarin oranges and pineapple bits in natural juice are typical kid favourites.


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