By Alex Male, HFHF Intern
Healthy Foods, Healthy Families (HFHF), Farm Fresh RI’s nutrition education program serving families with young children, has reached the middle of the season and full enrollment! Thank you to everyone who has stopped by and participated so far. In case you missed the fun at the markets, here is an update on what we’ve been up to at the Healthy Foods, Healthy Families tent.
Every week, families learn about a fruit or vegetable through tastings, recipes, activities, and hands-on food based nutrition education. We kicked off the season with simple recipes featuring familiar fruits and veggies, and then ventured to recipes and foods that some families were tasting for the first time, like our earthy beet lemonade and pepper quinoa boats. Thanks to the kid-friendly samples prepared by our fabulous Johnson and Wales University interns and encouraging children to take one bite of every new sample, we’ve barely had leftover samples! The samples are a hit with parents too. As school is swinging into full gear, the HFHF newsletter presents fun ways for parents to include fruits and veggies in snacks and lunches.
Even though we had a lot of enthusiastic children participate in our fruit and veggie-themed activities, we definitely had a few favorites. At the end of July, we made pepper people with toothpicks and veggies. We gave each child half of a pepper and they stuck veggies onto the pepper with toothpicks to make a face. The children quickly got creative, and we started seeing pepper mice, pepper cars, and pepper boats amongst the pepper people.
Another big hit at some of our markets was the bike smoothie. In honor of Bike to Farmers Market Week, HFHF gave children the chance to make their own cantaloupe smoothie with a bike-powered blender. Everyone loved these pedal-powered treats.
A favorite activity was definitely salsa making week in August, when tomatoes were the featured ingredient. To get children involved in the preparation, they combined the ingredients into a bowl and mixed them together to make their own salsa. The children who made the salsa seemed excited to try it, even if they didn’t like tomatoes. It has been great to hear parents return to HFHF excited to share stories of their children helping to cook dinner at home.
Healthy Foods, Healthy Families will be at the farmers markets until the end of October, so we still have a lot of fun activities and delicious samples to go! Hope to see you at the market.