Choose Veggies & Fruit

Theme 3! Choose to Boost Veggies & Fruit 

Starting April 2017 until December 2017, our Healthy Kids Community Challenge community will be working to encourage kids and families to make vegetables and fruit a part of every meal and snack. Canada’s Food Guide recommends children aged 2-13 years old eat 4-6 servings of veggies and fruit each day. However, we know kids and adults often fall short of this goal. Approxinately 60% of children & adolescents do not get the recommended 5 or more servings of veggies & fruit per day!

The Healthy Heroes Family

Introducing The Healthy Heroes Family featuring Eric Carrot a.k.a - Captain Crunchy, Bella Banana a.k.a Slippery Sidekick and Theo Tomato a.ka. Super Saucy!

Congratulations to Mrs. Dixon and Mrs. Harding’s Kindergarten Class and Mrs. Tischler’s Grade 1 class from Caradoc Public School for their name submissions!

These veggies & fruit will support Healthy Kids throughout Theme 3 of The Challenge. Eric, Bella and Theo came together and made it their mission to have kids eat more vegetables and fruit. Each character has a special super power that helps kids think about eating more veggies and fruit to be healthy and strong.  They want to help inspire kids to be Powered by Veggies & Fruit!

Coming in October 2017! The release of our story book called Veggie Rap! 

How can you choose to boost veggies & fruit?

GROW IT:
◆ Choose from Ontario’s 50 varieties of in season veggies & fruit.
◆ Visit a local farm or community garden & pick your own.
◆ Grow veggies & fruit at home, in a garden bed or containers.

TASTE IT:
◆ Encourage, support & praise your kids when trying different veggies & fruit.
◆ Continue to offer new veggies & fruit alongside familiar ones.
◆ Be a positive role model & let your kids see you eating veggies & fruit.

MAKE IT:
◆ Have your kids help wash & cut veggies & fruit. Cover tightly & store in the fridge.
◆ Involve your kids in preparing meals & snacks that include veggies & fruit.
◆ Stock up with frozen & canned veggies & fruit (without added sugar or salt).

EAT IT:
◆ Eat together as a family away from the television.
◆ Choose veggies & fruit as a snack. Include in school lunches.
◆ At dinner, fill half your plate with veggies & fruit – enjoy!

Video Series 

Click on the links below to access our 4 Choose to Boost Veggies & Fruit videos! 

Grow it! 

How can you help your children eat more veggies & fruit? Have them Grow it! 
Involving children in growing opportunities at home, at school and in the community can help them learn about where their food comes from. As well, children are more willing to try a vegetable or fruit if they helped in growing or harvesting.  Help bring out your child's superhero & grow it!

Fruit Tree - Written By: Molly McClure ©2003

Recorded with Ken Whiteley in Toronto, Ontario, 2003, Studio recording engineer: Nick Tjelios

Taste it! 

How can you help your children eat more veggies & fruit? Have them Taste it! 
At home, encourage, support & praise your kids when trying different veggies & fruit.  Continue to offer new veggies & fruit alongside familiar ones and be a positive role model & let your kids see you eating different veggies & fruit! In a school or community setting,  taste testing is a fun way to introduce kids to foods they may not have tried before.  Watching peers and leaders can help motivate kids to try food that is new to them. Help bring out your child's superhero & taste it!

Make it! 

How can you help your children eat more veggies & fruit? Have them Make it!  
Involving children in cleaning and preparing vegetables and fruit can help them learn about healthier choices and develop new skills. As well, children are more willing to try a new food if they helped prepare it!  Help bring out your child's superhero & make it!

Eat it! 

How can you help your children eat more veggies & fruit?  Have them Eat it! 
Enjoy meals together as a family, without any TV or other electronics, and engage in mealtime chatter!  Choose veggies & fruit as a snack and include in school lunches.  At dinner, fill half your plate with veggies & fruit and enjoy! Help bring out your child's superhero & eat it!

Produce Passport

Many children think they do not like vegetables and fruit, but often that is because they have not been introduced to a variety of produce or could benefit from continued positive exposure. 

To encourage Middlesex County children to try a variety of locally available vegetables and fruit, many preschool children through partnering child cares as well as all students from JK to Grade 3 received a Produce Passport in June 2017.

The challenge? Each time a child tries one of the featured vegetables and fruit, they can use one of the stickers provided to mark their passport. Once they have had a chance to try all, they can take their completed passport to a Middlesex County Library branch for a chance to win some great prizes. 

Click below to see each page within the Passport! 

Taste it! Community Calendar

As an additional support, many of the Middlesex County library branches, Ontario Early Years Centre satellite sites and other community partners are offering taste testing through June to the end of August.  Enjoy a ride on the stationary bike to help blend a smoothie for tasting or try one of the featured veggies and fruit. Mark your calendar with these dates! 

Featured Veggie & Fruit of the Week! 

Starting in June, each week we will be showcasing a “Veggie & Fruit Feature of the Week”. This will involve featuring different veggies & fruit that are available locally. These veggies & fruit will be showcased in social media, used in educational material including the Produce Passport, and presented during Taste it! Events in libraries and other community locations.  Click on the links below for more information on the featured veggie & fruit!

Parent Booklet 

This booklet contains tips on choosing, storing & preparing, as well as seasonal availability of each of the 28 featured veggies & fruit.   

Full Fact Sheets 

These fact sheets were developed by Half Your Plate and provide more details on each of the featured veggies & fruit.  Included as well is a recipe link from Foodland Ontario or Half Your Plate! 

Other Resources to support Theme 3! 

Helpful Links

For more information including recipe ideas & fun food facts visit:

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Strathmere Lodge

Strathmere Lodge, a not-for-profit, long-term-care home is owned by the County of Middlesex.

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