If kids aren’t getting at least half their plate of fruits and veggies, what can be done to meet the challenge? The first step is to THINK ABOUT IT. Nothing changes until someone gets used to thinking about how to eat more fruits and veggies.
- Gather students and discuss the following solutions to eating more fruits & veggies. Allow kids to brainstorm ideas that will work for them.
- Make fruits & veggies more available. To see more solutions, and specific actions to take, go to our Monthly Action Idea page and click on March Action Idea.
- Activity Idea: How many colors can you get into a salsa?
- Either write the following recipe ingredients on a board and discuss them or try out the recipe!
- Identify the fruit and veggie colors represented in the salsa.
- Send the recipe home and encourage kids and their families to try it.
Cranberry Salsa Recipe
4 oz. 100% cranberry juice
1-1/2 cups diced tomatoes
1/2 cup fresh sliced cranberries
1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1/4 cup diced avocado
1/2 cup diced pineapple
1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 cup finely chopped jalapeno peppers
2 garlic cloves
optional: black pepper
Baked chips for dipping
- Place juice into a saucepan. Boil about 5 minutes. Let cool.
- Dice or slice the fruits & veggies, then place in a large mixing bowl.
- Crush the garlic cloves, measure 1 tsp. and place in the mixing bowl. Add a dash of pepper, if desired.
- Pour the syrup over the mixing bowl contents and stir thoroughly.
- Serve with baked chips.
Download: Fruits and Veggies – Variety Adds Appeal
It’s important to eat more fruits and veggies. It’s so easy to fall into the rut of choosing the same ones and growing tired of them. Add some interest and appeal to your produce choices by trying the following ideas.
- Toss a Salad. Either fruit or veggie salads can provide a variety of tastes, colors, healthy fiber and antioxidants.
- Click on the link to find all the tips on the download link.
*This lesson is found on page 69 of the Balance My Day™ nutrition curriculum, Grades 6-8. For more like this, check out HKC resources in our Online Store; be sure to check out the Table of Contents and sample pages.
Applying for a 2013 PEP Grant? These lessons and tips are perfect for helping you meet the nutrition education needs for increasing kids’ fruit and vegetable intake. See our PEP Grant Help page for more info.
January 24, 2013
Want an easy way to get your middle schoolers interested in healthy eating? Try a family snack attack contest! This simple family activity involves kids in the kitchen and provides a great chance to talk about making healthy choices.
For starters, give your contest a creative name. I like to call this one “Proof is in the Pudding.”
Ingredients and Measures:
For an individual serving, combine:
- ⅓ cup pudding
- ½ cup fruit
- Everyone follows the “recipe” for ingredients and measures (to create individual servings).
- Each person can use creativity to mix and match different flavors of pudding and fruits for their own unique recipe.
Go to the market as a family to choose your fruit choices.
Talk about different ways fruit is sold – canned, frozen, and fresh.
Talk about differences in cost, taste, and whether extra sugar is added (and why it might be a good idea to choose some with less sugar)
Create individual servings, one per family member. Mix the ingredients or layer them.
¼ cup strawberries + ¼ cup kiwi slices + ⅓ cup vanilla pudding. Mix the strawberries and kiwi together, and then alternate layers of the fruit mixture and the pudding.
For Best Color, Best Taste, Best “Crunch”, Best Recipe with ___ (name the fruit)…make up more categories if needed so everyone wins!
Back to school in our neck of the woods this week means we are on the lookout for some healthy new after school snacks, and of course they have to include fruits and veggies. It is a given that our kids get fresh fruit or veggies as soon as they get home from school, and it always helps if they’re fun and tasty. And ready as soon as they walk through the door!
With Fruit and Veggie – More Matters Month only a week away, I also have that in mind right now, so I can’t resist combining the two, and celebrating a week early! So this year you get an extra post about fruits and veggies and we all get to try new recipes for after school snacks (or just about any time).
Kiwi Berry Parfait
Creamy cool Greek yogurt, graham crackers, toasted coconut and fresh fruit combine for a kid-friendly parfait.
1 pint low fat or nonfat plain or vanilla Greek yogurt
1 cup crushed graham crackers
1/2 cup diced tropical fruit/kiwi, etc.
1/2 cup blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, etc.
1/4 cup shredded coconut, toasted
- In a martini glass (or other festive vessel), spoon a dollop of the yogurt into the base of the glass and then top with a sprinkling of graham crackers, a layer of diced fruit, then a few berries.
- Start again with the yogurt, continuing the pattern until the glass is filled.
- Sprinkle with 1/4 of the toasted coconut.
- Repeat with the remaining 3 glasses and serve immediately.
Recipe courtesy of Hidden Valley Ranch®. Read more.
Fruity Pitootie Smoothie
PIneapple, orange, mango, banana – need I say more?
Beany Cheese Tada
Corn tortilla, pinto beans, lettuce, tomato, cheese
Carrot Muffins with Raisins and Walnuts
Raisins and walnuts stud these carrot muffins.
A big thank you for yummy, healthy, kid-friendly recipes, to our friends at Relish! Read more at www.relish.com.
4 whole grain bagels, split in half
4 small ripe bananas
1 cup raisins
This Taste and Learn Activity is based upon the HKC Healthy6 Snack Attack message which teaches kids to choose foods with added sugar and fat less often or in smaller amounts. Access the entire activity in the Monthly Action Idea section of our web site.
Tip Sheet: Water – The First Choice!
Help kids think about what they drink—starting with water! Encourage kids to select water as a healthy thirst quencher instead of sugary beverages! Use these ideas and activities to get them thinking about what they are drinking…
For all 6 tips to help kids do a Drink Think, go to our Take Healthy Action with Kids page and click on Parent Tip Sheet Download.
Healthy Challenge: Plan Your Snack Attack
Summer activities require “grab and go” snacks. Ahead of time, mix favorite whole grain cereals, dried fruits and nuts for a healthy snack and put in a plastic baggie. Add a baggie of baby carrots or cherry tomatoes and you have snacks ready at a moment’s notice.
For more challenges, tips, and ideas like these: http://bit.ly/freewows
March 22, 2012
Our fan, Karalee, wins recognition this second week of the Challenge for shaping up her snack with fruit – strawberries, strawberries, strawberries! Remember that small changes are the most sustainable. Simply adding a serving of fruit to a snack is an easy way to shape up your plate.
And speaking of recognition, we are so excited to share with you that our very own, Vickie James, RD, LD, has just been inducted into the MDPA Hall of Fame! The Marketing Disease Prevention + Awareness (MDPA) Hall of Fame is designed to honor those who have made substantial strides in helping to improve health through better efforts in marketing, communication, and improving awareness of important health issues. The focus of those inducted in this year’s class will be based on their contributions to fighting the epidemic of childhood obesity.
A hallmark of the Healthy Kids Challenge® is making healthy easier through our “Healthy6 messages”. When kids like Karalee find it easy to eat juicy, fresh strawberries for a snack every day, it is real world proof that “Fruits and Veggies Every Day the Tasty Way” is not only achievable, but sustainable. Find more simple, every day ways to add fruits and veggies to your day on our Healthy6 web pages.
Remember to show us how YOU shape up kids’ plates during this National Nutrition Month by sending your photos to firstname.lastname@example.org!
September 29, 2011
I have some exciting new kids’ contests to share with you as we come to the end of “Fruits & Veggies-More Matters” month!
- The first one is the Stirring Up Health National Middle School Recipe Contest.
- The goal is to engage the kids you know to create or modify a recipe to make it healthier, using USDA MyPlate guidelines. Two of the categories are Fruits and Vegetables.
- The contest is open September 1, 2011 – March 2, 2012 to all kids currently enrolled in 7th or 8th grade. Prizes include: Chef for a Day for 5 National Winners: A J&W University chef will prepare YOUR recipe with you at a school or youth group event!
- Go to the Kids’ Recipe Contest web page for entry rules, sample recipes, and past winners with the chefs who came to their schools!
- The second one is the MyPlate Fruits & Veggies Video Challenge.
- Create short videos (approximately 30 seconds) showing how you’re adding fruits and vegetables to your diet without spending a lot of money.
- 3 categories:
- Tips for kids
- Tips when eating at home
- Tips when eating away from home
- The goal of the challenge is to encourage healthy eating habits using MyPlate, which includes making half your plate fruits and vegetables.
- The third one is, admittedly, not a contest but a pledge. We think it’s so important that you personally take action that I want to challenge you to take this pledge today. It’s to join America’s More Matters Pledge for fruits and veggies. You could make this one into a contest by challenging kids to see which class or group can have the most taking the pledge!
It has been fun to share all these resources with you this month. Let me know if you want more along this line!
- 5 Kids Activities for Fruits & Veggies-More Matters Month (healthykidschallenge.wordpress.com)
- Favorite Kids’ Fruit and Vegetable Cooking Activities (healthykidschallenge.wordpress.com)
- Continue the MyPlate series? Start a new one? (healthykidschallenge.wordpress.com)
September 22, 2011
There’s a lot to be learned when you get kids cooking! In keeping with the theme of “Fruits & Veggies-More Matters” month, I want to share with you some of my favorite kids’ cooking activities using fruits and vegetables. Whether you teach in a classrooom, lead a group like Girl Scouts or 4-H cooking projects, or just want to show your own kids how fun cooking healthy food can be, here are some great online resources to refer to:
- Healthy Cooking with Your Kids – Produce for Better Health Foundation: fruit and vegetable recipes, tips, and more
- Chef Solus – Nourish Interactive: cooking game with lesson plan and more
- Kids in the Kitchen – Junior League: recipes and video cooking demos of Fruity Kebabs, Trail Mix, and more
- LANA Preschool Program – Learning ZoneXpress: tasting and cooking activities like Fruity Bugs and Veggie Bagel Face and more
- The Thrill of Skill and other Educator Resources – Home Baking Association: cooking skills activities and checklists, recipes like Pumpkin Pancakes and Apple Dumplings, and more
- 5 Kids Activities for Fruits & Veggies-More Matters Month (healthykidschallenge.wordpress.com)
- Best Blogs for Getting Kids to Eat More Fruits and Vegetables (healthykidschallenge.wordpress.com)
- 3 Kid-Friendly Fruit and Vegetable Recipes (healthykidschallenge.wordpress.com)
September 1, 2011
- Take the Eat Your Colors Challenge -this is from a My Healthy Challenge monthly publication, which includes 5 challenges to eat your colors. Challenge yourself and challenge the kids. For more info, click here: http://www.healthykidschallenge.com/newsletter-signup
- Join America’s More Matters Pledge to Fight Childhood Obesity – From the Produce for Better Health Foundation, pledge to improve your own fruit and veggie intake, your family’s, or your school’s. Got to http://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org/?page_id=12135
- Take the MyPlate Makeover Challenge – Consumers can upload a snapshot of their meal plate, showing how they made half of it fruits & veggies, to the Fruits & Veggies-More Matters Facebook page. Receive a coupon and be entered in a drawing for a free weekly $100 grocery gift card!
- Use the Eat a Tasty Rainbow activity pages – for kids 5 and under, and kids 6 and over. These are from the Colorful Plates section of the Healthy Balance Toolkit http://www.cigna.com/health_money/healthyKids/families.html
- Try the CDC’s recommended “30 Ways in 30 Days to Stretch Your Fruit & Vegetable Budget”. Involve kids in trying all the ways they can eat healthier AND stay within a budget. http://www.fruitsandveggiesmatter.gov/publications/index.html
Throughout September I’ll be posting anything and everything to do with kids and fruits & veggies – favorite online resources, blogs, recipes, and more. Send me your favorites and I’ll include them too!
- Fruits & Vegetables: Part 2 of the Healthy Kids Challenge Way to Teach MyPlate to Kids (healthykidschallenge.wordpress.com)