Find a Food Rainbow
Summer is a great time to take the kids on a field trip. Go where admission is free, and where you take home and eat what you buy. It should interest, educate, and occupy the kids as well. “Where?” you ask.
A farmers’ market is the answer. Try to find one in your area. It should display locally grown fruit and vegetables, and maybe even some real farmers who grew them. It will be an eye-opener for children who think food comes from a box or a can. Many kids have no idea what natural produce looks like, or that it is grown on plants and trees.
Involve the kids in the experience by setting up some games and rewards. Here are two:
Before the trip help each child draw a rainbow, with red on top, then orange, then yellow, then green, then light blue, then dark blue, then purple. Take the drawings to the market. Tell each child to find fruit and vegetables in those different colors and make a mark on the color of the rainbow or write the name on the color if they can do it. As a reward for finding foods in all or almost all the color bands let them choose a favorite fruit or vegetable to take home or to eat right away if desired.
Point to a fruit or vegetable. Ask the children if they can think of a way they have seen it used in a meal.
For example, point to tomatoes. Name salads, pizza or spaghetti sauce, and soup.
Point to leafy greens like kale, spinach, or chard. Name salads, in wraps, and cooked in broth.
Point to various colors and types of peppers. Name salads, wraps, chili and bean dishes.
Point to the different colors and types of potatoes. Name baked, mashed, salads, and stews.
Don’t forget corn, which can be cooked or popped. Also fruit which is great raw, in pies, or juiced.
I’d love to know how your trip turned out. Above all, enjoy finding a rainbow!