If your little guy thinks a cherry is something stuffed inside a chocolate or an apple is something grown for apple pie, now is probably a good time to get him excited about all the different types of fruits and all the healthy ways they can be enjoyed. You can incorporate learning opportunities into mealtimes, activity time and even shopping trips, but if you really want to get him enthusiastic about fruits, remember that he'll learn best from your example.
Bring your little munchkin along on grocery trips to introduce her to an entire store section full of fruit. Talk about the different types of fruits and why you make the choices you do as you shop. For example, tell her you prefer honey-crisp apples because they are the sweetest type of apple you've had. Or, you're buying strawberries today because they're in season right now and locally grown.
Keep the fridge stocked with plenty of different types of fruit. If your picky eater seems resistant to a change in her diet, try introducing one new fruit at a time along with some more familiar regulars. For example, if she's never had a kiwi fruit before, add just one or two slices to her plate along with some apple slices and a few cut up strawberries. Tell her how much mommy loves kiwi as you eat some slices yourself.
Show her different ways fruits can be used. They are not only for serving in slices on a snack plate. Fruits can be used to garnish meats, make sauces and turned into juice. Make fruit kabobs and let her dip them in a small bowl of yogurt or mix up some yogurt parfaits with fresh berries and some granola stirred in. Make a watermelon boat to show her just how much fun fruit can be for your next weekend dessert. Just cut a watermelon in two, scoop out the fruit and then fill it with melon, blueberries, mango and other favorites.
Make a chart about “The Fruit I've Tried.” Fill a large piece of poster board with pictures of all different types of fruits. Get her excited about marking off each fruit as she gives it a try.
Turn the ABCs into a fruit-learning activity with a fruit-themed alphabet. Think of fruits that start with different letters of the alphabet, cut out some pictures and work together to match the fruit with the right letter. For example, place a strawberry picture next to the letter “S” on your craft table and an apple next to the letter “A.”
Make some modeling clay fruit at craft time. You can help her to create a plethora of fruits during this activity to help her to become familiar with the size, shape and color of different fruits.
Make a set of fruit flash cards. As she becomes more familiar with different types of fruit, make a set of flashcards with a picture of the fruit on one side. Have her tell you the name of the fruit and see if she can describe any of its characteristics, such as the taste, color or texture.
- Creative Activities for Young Children; Mary Mayesky
- United States of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service: Grow It, Try It, Like It! Preschool Fun with Fruits and Vegetables
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