Often, farmers markets have assorted varieties of foods that your child may or may not have seen before. Visiting a market is the perfect opportunity to let them explore and find new foods they want to try. Here are a few activities to engage kids in and even teach them why it’s so important to always eat their fruit and vegetables!
Make a Market Tote
Before heading to the farmers market, help kids make their own bag to carry market items in. Using a brown paper grocery bag or the smaller kind, decorate the bag with stickers and/or pictures of fruits and vegetables! Your little one will surely be the most stylish produce shopper around!
Allow your child to pick out her favorite food from the selection of fruits and vegetables at the farmers market. When you get home, research the item to learn about where it’s from, how it grows and how different cultures traditionally eat it. Then look for a new recipe that incorporates your food and let your child be the kitchen helper while you prepare the meal. Making your child part of the meal process will make her more likely to try new foods and curious about cooking in the future.
Name that Fruit or Vegetable
Start by creating an index card that has three clues on it about a fruit or vegetable. Your child will use this card as they walk through the market to find the mystery item! Clues can include but are not limited to information about the texture, appearance, taste, and name of the fruit or vegetable.
- Sometimes I’m called the avocado pear.
- I have a big seed called a “pit” inside.
- I’m green.
- You use me to make guacamole!
Love It & List It
While walking around the farmers market, help your child categorize the items he sees. Younger kids can categorize items simply by grouping them by color or as “fruits” or “vegetables.” Older kids can get take on a tougher challenge, such as listing fruits and vegetables based on if they grow on a vine or on a tree. Tomatoes, grapes and zucchini, on the vine side of the list and tree-growers like peaches and apples on the other.
Go on a pizza treasure hung. Farmers markets are the perfect place to get all the ingredients for a homemade pizza. Fresh tomatoes, mushrooms, peppers, and spinach are abundant, making this a great opportunity to have kids search for their favorite vegetable to use as a pizza topping. This is a great way to have everyone in the family contribute to tonight’s dinner!
What are your favorite ways to have some fun at the market?