"hang in bunches, that's their trick - to make them easier to pick." What "Russians really relish when they're famished," And why "Einstein, Newton, Marx and Plato [say] a yam is NOT a sweet potato!"
3. Enlist kids help in the kitchen
Unquestionably, children have more interest in foods that they have a hand in making. Unfortunately, too many kids' kitchen experience is limited to baking cookies and cupcakes. Kid-friendly recipes should be ones they can make with little or no assistance. Even a toddler can participate by using a salad spinner to dry the salad greens. There are 43 kid-friendly recipes in The ABC's of Fruits and Vegetables and Beyond, including such favorites as:
Monkeys in a Blanket
Great Frozen Grapes
Smashed Spud Soup
Real Fresh Lemonade
Your Own Pita Pizza
4. Don't just eat them
Introduce fruits and vegetables in other ways then eating them. For instance, use lemon juice to make invisible ink or dried herbs for scented greeting cards.
5. Grow a garden
Even if you live in a city and only have a windowsill, kids can watch plants grow by planting lemon seeds, growing carrot tops, or sprouting edible seeds in a jar. Growing food is equal to cooking in capturing kids' interest.
6. Become a trivia expert
By learning some fun facts about fruits and vegetables, kids can entertain their family and friends with such facts as...
The record for the longest single unbroken apple peel (155 feet)
The world's tallest herb plant is the banana
What vegetable can grow to 3 feet long and weigh 100 pounds (radish)
How big is BIG when it comes to watermelons (268.8 feet)
7. Read about fruits and vegetables
There are many wonderful and fanciful children's books about fruits and vegetables. (Twenty are listed in The ABC's and you will discover more at your local library.)
8. Use the Internet
There are numerous websites that can make fruits and vegetables more interesting to kids, including www.bananamuseum.com, www.datesaregreat.com, and www.uni-graz.at/~katzer/engl/Vani_pla.html, where you can learn how to say vanilla in 52 different languages.
9. Let kids choose
Kids will see themselves as "fruit and vegetable experts," when they help pick them out at the market. (There is information on how to select and store them in The ABC's.) Make shopping an adventure as they discover different varieties of familiar foods (baby bananas, various kinds of apples, striped tomatoes) and some more exotic offerings such as jicama, kiwi, mangoes, and Ugli fruit.
10. Kids can cook
We know we have said this one already, but it can't be emphasized enough. Knowing they have helped really does motivate kids to eat better.
11. No daily specials
Avoid making them separate dishes â€" children should eat what everyone else is eating or they will use this power over you forever.
12. Be a role model
If you don't eat them, neither will your kids. In other blogs, we talk about how to get the adults in your household to revere vegetables as well.
We leave you with one of the silly jokes that will make everyone in the family chuckle as they discover ways to include more of these important foods.
Q: How do you know that an elephant has been in your refrigerator?
A: There are footprints in the applesauce!
To get a copy of The ABC's of Fruits and Vegetables and Beyond: Delicious Alphabet Poems Plus Food, Facts, and Fun for Everyone (Ceres Press), click here.
Nikki and David Goldbeck, whose best-selling The Supermarket Handbook helped revolutionize America's diet and made "The Goldbecks" a household word in the '70s, are still stirring up the pot 35 years later. The Goldbecks have more than 1.5 million books in print. They were catapulted to fame in 1973 with the publication of The Supermarket Handbook. They have co-authored The Healthiest Diet in the World, Eat Well The YoChee Way, The Dieterâ€™s Companion and The Goldbeck's Guide to Good Food.
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