Do you have a picky eater at home? Do you keep buying and preparing the same kinds of vegetables and fruits, because you don’t want to waste food that your family won’t eat? Well, you are not alone. Lots of families face these challenges, even when there is so much fresh produce to enjoy all around us. But, there are solutions!
Children who are active in helping to select and prepare vegetables, or in growing their own vegetables are more likely to eat more vegetables and a wider variety of vegetables.
So, how do you get kids more involved? Share the adventure! Try new vegetables and fruits together!
Include your child in planning family meals. Suggest some different recipe ideas or ask them what they would like to include in a family meal.
Plan a trip to the grocery store or farmers market with your child. With your guidance, let your child see, feel and smell different vegetables and fruits. Then, let them select the vegetables and fruits they would like to prepare at home.
Involve your child in preparing meals. Younger children can wash vegetables, tear lettuce and stir ingredients together. Older children can cut vegetables, measure and combine ingredients, and do the cooking.
Not sure how to prepare a new vegetable or fruit? Farmers at farmers markets know delicious ways to use their products, and are a great resource for food prep tips and recipes. Or, you can search for healthy and affordable recipes at This website can also provide you with recipes, tools and ideas to help your family enjoy fresh, frozen or canned produce — to make it easy to Grab the Good Stuff.
Maggie McHugh is a senior nutritionist with Finger Lakes Eat Smart NY at the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Wayne County.