- Ditch the sugary drinks and start drinking fruit infused water. Fill a large pitcher with cold water and try some of the following combinations: Strawberry/lemon, mango/pineapple, or lime/strawberry. Have your child help make his/her own fruity creation! After about 4 hours you will have a delicious thirst-quenching drink and no one will miss the juice, soda, or Kool-Aid. It will stay fresh in the fridge for about 3 days.
- Visit the farmers market. Most of the farmers markets in Kent County open in May. A trip to the farmers market is a great way to teach your young child about where food comes from. Create a fun activity by doing a scavenger hunt where you help your child identify different fruits and vegetables. Before you leave, let your child pick out a new fruit or vegetable to try at home. You can find a list of local farmers markets by visiting www.westmichiganfarmmarkets.org.
- Wash and prep fruits and vegetables in advance. We’ve all had it happen – you buy a beautiful carton of strawberries with the intent to eat more fruit, only to have them spoil before eating them. Avoid wasting fresh fruits and vegetables by washing and cutting them up the same day you buy them. If you notice them going soft, don’t throw them away! Put them in the freezer for later use in fruit smoothies. Frozen bananas can be blended into “nice-cream” as a healthy substitute for ice-cream.
Danielle Gillis, MA, RD
Registered Dietician at WIC, Burton Health Center, Innovation Central High School Health Center, Ottawa High School Health Center and Union High School Health Center