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?
◆ 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.
◆ 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.
◆ 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 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!
Click on the links below to access our 4 Choose to Boost Veggies & Fruit videos!
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
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!
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!
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!
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!
For sites interested in offering Taste Testing opportunities, download our guide to support you!
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!
This booklet contains tips on choosing, storing & preparing, as well as seasonal availability of each of the 28 featured veggies & fruit.
Full Fact Sheets
- Apples Recipe: Cinnamon Roasted Butternut Squash & Apples
- Asparagus Recipe: Awesome Asparagus Pizza
- Beets Recipe: Peach, Beet and Arugula Salad
- Blueberries Recipe: Apple Blueberry Compote
- Brussel Sprouts (not available) Recipe: Savoury Harvest Brussels Sprouts
- Butternut Squash Recipe: Roasted Moroccan Vegetables
- Carrot Recipe: Bunny’s best soup
- Cauliflower Recipe: Roasted Cauliflower
- Cherries Recipe: Trout with Plum and Cherry Salsa
- Cucumbers Recipe: Cool as a Cucumber Dip
- Green Beans Recipe: Shrimp & Vegetable Pasta
- Green Cabbage Recipe: Rainbow Coleslaw Salad
- Green Peppers Recipe: Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup
- Honeydew Melon
- Iceburg Lettuce
- Pears Recipe: Pear & Goat Cheese Salad
- Peas Recipe: Fresh Asparagus and Peas with Gnocchi
- Plums Recipe: Asian Noodles & Vegetable Salad with Plums
- Radish (not available) Recipe: Marinated Garden Salad
- Raspberries Recipe: Quinoa Raspberry Muffins
- Romaine Lettuce
- Rhubarb (not available) Recipe: Rhubarb Ketchup
- Rutabaga (not available) Recipe: Creamy Mashed Rutabaga
- Spinach Recipe: Strawberry, Chicken and Spinach Salad
- Strawberries Recipe: Strawberry Smoothie
- Zucchini Recipe: Zucchini Corn Muffins
Other Resources to support Theme 3!
- Choose to Boost Veggies & Fruit Poster
- Community & School Garden Map
- Smoothies to boost veggies & fruit
For more information including recipe ideas & fun food facts visit: