Discovery Point Blog
June is National Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Month
The month of June is an excellent time for your family to focus on consuming the abundance of healthy and delicious fruits and vegetables that are available during the summer season. Your celebration of the National Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Month can take a range of different forms depending on your access to different types of produce, your child’s favorite meals, and your creativity in the kitchen.
Read below for our tips to help get children involved in this exciting celebration of nature’s bounty.
4 Tips for Encouraging Healthy Eating Habits This Month
We know it can be tough to convince children to try new things, especially when it comes to changing their eating habits. However, it’s worth finding ways to incorporate fruits and veggies into their diet not only to see their eyes light up when they bite into something new and delicious but also to ensure they’re getting the vitamins and minerals they need to grow healthy and strong.
Here are just a few of our go-to tips and tricks for incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your family’s diet this summer.
Tip #1: Slip them into Desserts
Upon seeing guacamole for the first time, many children are aghast that grown-ups could love that green slime so much. If your child is put off by avocados due to their appearance, you can always try slipping them into dessert as a more cautious introduction. As they’re chock-full of healthy fats and have a creamy texture, avocados can often be used as a substitute for butter in baking recipes.
Many other fruits and vegetables also lend themselves well to desserts. Carrots and zucchinis can be incorporated into batter after being finely grated, boosting the vitamin content of a cake or sweet loaf without intruding on the overall flavor of the final product.
Tip #2: Make them Easy-to-Eat Finger Foods
Slices of veggies such as bell peppers, carrots, celery sticks, and cherry tomatoes with a side of hummus or other flavorful dip make for a fun and casual summer lunch for all ages.
You may also find that your children would be more willing to enjoy eating vegetables if they are able to participate in their preparation. Shish kabobs are an easy meal for children to assemble on their own. Simply cut veggies like bell peppers, zucchini, eggplant, and mushrooms into cubes, and children can stack them onto skewers in a colorful pattern before giving them back to you to grill or roast in the oven.
Tip #3: Use them as a Sweet Finish to Any Meal
Eating fresh fruits is a terrific way to enjoy dessert. While most fruits are low in calories and high in vitamins, they’re also bursting with flavor. Try watermelon slices, juicy cherries, or ripe blackberries as a fresh finale to a summer meal.
Check out these ideas for fresh fruit desserts.
Tip #4: Eat the Rainbow
Make it a goal to see how many colors your family can incorporate into your meals for the day. It’s easy to eat the rainbow when you have colorful fruits and vegetables on hand ranging from red apples and tomatoes to violet plums and purple grapes. When you make healthy eating a fun game rather than a chore, your children will be less likely to complain and more open to trying new things.
Updating Your Fruit & Veg Knowledge
Wondering how you can make the best selections for your family this month? The following are a few things to keep in mind as you choose new types of produce to celebrate National Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Month:
- Go seasonal. Purchasing seasonal fruits and vegetables is a great way to teach your children about the seasons. Plus, seasonal produce simply tastes better and is less expensive than those that are out of season. You can even buy in bulk and freeze for later.
- Keep it fresh. Knowing how to store produce properly will prevent unnecessary waste and frustration. For lasting freshness, store root vegetables like onions, garlic, and potatoes in a cool, dark place such as your pantry. Citrus fruits, stone fruits, bananas, and tomatoes are best stored away from sunlight and moisture – in this case, a shady countertop will do. Most other fruits and vegetables, from apples to leafy greens, can be stored in the produce drawer of your refrigerator.
- Avoid additives. You don’t always have to buy fresh in order to enjoy the benefits of fruits and vegetables. Canned and frozen products are excellent alternatives that make it convenient to eat healthy all year round. However, it’s important to note that some canned and frozen products contain added sugar and sodium. Try to avoid purchasing items that contain additives in favor of those that have a short and simple ingredients list.
We hope these tips help you get excited about celebrating National Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Month. For more information about incorporating healthy foods into your family’s diet, check out the American Heart Association’s free Fruit and Vegetable Guide.