June is National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month! If you're looking for ways to help your family eat more produce, this month is the perfect time to try it. You'll find fresh fruits and vegetables at your local farmers market. Produce picked in season, and at the peak of ripeness, tastes better than those flown in from far-off locales or even shipped from miles away. You might explain that to your little one as she's eyeing the berries or carrots. After all, is there anything better than juicy, sweet Michigan strawberries or peaches in the summer?
To make the most of the month, we've included a few ideas to get you started.
Find farm-fresh produce in your neighborhood – or anywhere in the state – by checking out the Michigan Farmers Market Association website. Find the one nearest you online or check out Metro Parent's guide to farmers markets in southeast Michigan, including over 60 stands, markets and other spots in Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw and Wayne counties.
Getting your kids to sample a new-to-them fruit or vegetable isn't always easy. CNN Health offers several parent-tested tips for getting your kids to try new veggies. One superb idea? Wait until your kids are hungry and offer them a plate of colorful produce.
Kids love picking their own produce. And Michigan has plenty of places to pick your own produce like blueberries, beans, cherries, cucumbers, strawberries and much more – depending on the season. Berry picking doesn't start until mid-July at Russell's Blueberries & Book Barn.
Play up the vibrant appeal of fruits and veggies by making them into fun designs. You can try this simple produce rainbow from Southern Mom Cooks or encourage your kids to create their own edible pictures – and then eat them together!
Spend some time together creating your own backyard garden. Many vegetables like peas don't need much room – or expertise – to grow. Follow the advice at Naturally Savvy for 10 fruits and veggies to plant with kids.
You can find plenty of cool ideas to keep your kids asking for more fruits and veggies at Food and Health. For example, have your own food contest. Ask your kiddos to keep a food journal for a week to chart how many new kinds of produce they eat. Whoever tries the most wins! And the prize can be something to keep them sampling – like a silly kitchen apron, garden tool or basket to carry to the farmers market.