Boobies, babies, fruits, and veggies: start nutrition right!

A healthy lifestyle for your child should begin from the very start of life! Breastfeeding is not just the ideal but, the best way to start feeding your child from the very second they are born. According to the Lehigh Valley Breastfeeding Coalition, consisting of lactation consultants and counselors, nurses, public health nutritionists, and mothers, breast milk should be the first form of nutrition a baby needs. This week the Fruit and Veggie On-The-Move Truck collaborated with the Lehigh Valley Breastfeeding Coalition at the Big Latch to promote a healthy lifestyle from the start.

Alexandra Sodl, RD, LDN (The person I work closely with and the original fruit and veggie lady) and I at the Big Latch this past weekend.

Alexandra Sodl, RD, LDN (The person I work closely with and the original fruit and veggie lady) and I at the Big Latch this past weekend.

Plums and peppers were the fruit and veggie choice of the week for the park program kids. I could not believe how many children did not know what plums were or have never eaten one before. At one park with a total of 37 children, at least 10 of them never ate a plum before. This was very heartbreaking to me because plums generally are not expensive summer fruit. Also, more than half the children I gave plums to this week thought they were apples instead. The colored bell peppers that we gave to the kids went well despite problems last year with many kids thinking they were all spicy. I can not stress more to families how important it is to educate your child on different types of fruits and veggies from the beginning, just as important as breastfeeding. (Shout out to my mommy, an internationally board lactation consultant who breastfed me and introduced me to the wonderful world of fruits and veggies) Introducing your child to a wide range of different fruits and veggies will help them to eat healthier and continue to throughout their life.

plum and peppers

Colored Bell Peppers

I love bell peppers because they are a great veggie to add to a lot of meals. According to livestrong.com, bell peppers add more than color and crunch to meals, they are high in vitamin A and C and also contain folate, which supports the functioning of red blood cells and is especially important for pregnant women because it helps prevent certain types of birth defects in unborn children. Many of my college roommates know, I love to cook chicken fajitas, especially because of all the colored bell peppers I use! I take the peppers, cut them in strips, then sauté them with a little bit of olive oil, purple onions, salt, and pepper. After I sauté the peppers and onions together I make some chicken and mix the two items together to make a delicious dish that can be eaten alone or with some rice and whole wheat wraps. Try it one night with your family for a Mexican theme night, I guarantee you that it will be a big hit!

Colored Bell Peppers!

Colored Bell Peppers!

Lessons with your child:

Make faces out of fruits and vegetables and have your child name each food along with what part of the face it is. For example, use grapes for the eyes and a pepper slice for the mouth. Try and use different types of fruits and veggies to familiarize your child to a variety of foods.

 

 

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Eat the rainbow, taste the rainbow

When it comes to starting a healthy lifestyle, a diet rich in fruits and vegetables is a great way to start. Colorful fruits and vegetables provide a wide range of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytochemicals your body needs for a variety of things. For example, reducing your risk of heart disease and cancer. So put those skittles down! The new saying is: “eat the rainbow, taste the rainbow…fruits and vegetables! ”

This week we wanted to really introduce a colorful diet to the kids so we gave out, red cherries, orange baby carrots, and green snap peas. The cups looked beautiful with all the colors mixed together! The children really enjoyed all the fruits and vegetables this week and this was the first time that I only got one or two complaints from the kids on what they were getting. I always have those one or two kids that are afraid to try the fruit or vegetable of the week but, I always can convince them to at least take a bite. With their 8 oz. water bottles in hand (each kid gets one for free every week courtesy of Nestle) and their fruit and veggie cup in the other, it was a great site to see all the kids sit down in the shade to enjoy their “taste of the rainbow.”

A fully loaded truck!

A fully loaded truck!

Cherries!

According to EatingWell.com, cherries contain a good amount of potassium which helps ease muscle soreness and lower blood pressure. Also, sweet cherries are rich in beta carotene, vitamin C, anthocyanins (remember these were in blueberries) and quercetin, which may work together synergistically to fight cancer, how awesome?! It is really easy to incorporate cherries into your diet. I like to add them to my smoothies and salads. Check out this delicious and simple smoothie recipe that this blogger created on their website called “Simple Daily Recipes:” http://simpledailyrecipes.com/97256/cashew-smoothie-with-spinach-and-cherries/ This blogger took an interesting combination of healthy foods to create a tasty treat!

Lessons with your child:

For dessert one night on a rainy day, make fruit kabobs! Buy skewers and red, orange, yellow, green, blue/indigo, and violet fruits. Cut them up into small pieces and place them in that color order on the sticks, to resemble a rainbow. Teach your child about the color spectrum, how healthy it is to eat colorful fruits and veggies. Your child will love to make an artsy dessert that tastes sweet along with learning about the rainbow. Maybe you will be lucky enough to catch a beautiful rainbow outside!

Taken from Happy Home Fairy wordpress. com blogger

Taken from Happy Home Fairy wordpress. com blogger

 

 

Those aren’t oranges!

Another week has come to an end for the fruit and veggie on-the-move truck! This past week gave us a few challenges with the rain but, we had more challenges explaining to the camp kids that apricots were not oranges.

For this past week we gave the kids: plums, apricots, cucumbers, and grape tomatoes. As usual, they loved getting their weekly dose of fresh fruits and veggies but, most of them thought the apricots were oranges! After explaining to the kids that the fruits we were giving them were apricots they all tasted them and fell in love. Finally, after handing out all the cups, kids were coming back to the truck asking for more yummy apricots.

Plums, apricots, grape tomatoes, and cucumbers for week 2!

Plums, apricots, grape tomatoes, and cucumbers for week 2!

The super food for this week are apricots!

These delicious summertime fruits are packed with vitamin A and C. Apricots are also filled with nutrients that can help protect the heart and eyes. The high amount of fiber in this fuzzy orange fruit can also help fight certain diseases.  Apricots also contain tryptophan and potassium. This May through August fruit  is not just a summertime treat though. In the winter buy some dried apricots which can still give you the same amount of benefits as eating them fresh and whole. So hurry up and grab some fresh apricots today from your local farmers market before August comes around !

Try some fresh and fiber filled apricots today!

Try some fresh and fiber filled apricots today!