Spring is a wonderful time to introduce your kids to locally grown produce and encourage healthy eating habits. With a variety of fresh fruits and vegetable options available in Toronto, it’s important to help children understand the importance of consuming fresh produce and how it contributes to a healthy diet.
Here are some tips on how to get your kids to try local produce in the spring:
- Take them to the farmers’ market. Going to the farmers’ market with your kids can be a fun way to introduce them to local produce. Show them the different types of fruits and vegetables available in Toronto and let them choose what they want to try. Engage them in conversation about what they see, smell and taste.
- Get them involved in meal planning. Getting kids involved in meal planning can encourage them to try new foods. Ask them to help you plan a healthy meal that includes local produce. Let them choose a recipe and help you gather the ingredients. Cooking with your kids is also a great way to teach them about healthy eating.
- Let them pick out new produce. Offer your kids the opportunity to try new fruits and vegetables they haven’t had before. Take them to the store and show them the different produce options available in your city. Let them pick out new items to try and encourage them to be adventurous.
- Make it fun! Kids love anything that’s fun and exciting. Make eating local produce a game by offering them a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables and see if they can match the colors to the different fruits and vegetables. You can also have a taste test challenge and encourage them to try a new fruit or vegetable every week.
- Grow your own produce. Growing your own produce can be a fun and educational experience for your kids. Let them help you plant and care for the garden. When the produce is ready, involve them in the harvest and meal planning.
- Get creative with the preparation. Encourage your kids to help with the preparation of meals and make it a fun and creative experience. Let them help you cut vegetables into fun shapes or decorate plates with colorful fruits. Involve them in the cooking process and let them decide how they would like to season the fruits and vegetables.
In conclusion, getting your kids to try local Toronto produce in the spring can be a fun and rewarding experience for both you and your kids. By engaging them in the process and making it a fun experience, you can encourage healthy eating habits and help them develop a love for fresh, locally grown produce.
Check out our Rooks to Cooks Signature recipe below for inspiration:
Rooks to Cooks’ Signature Rainbow Soba Noodle Salad
Yield: 4 Servings
- For the salad:
- 10 ounces soba noodles
- 2 carrots
- ¼ red cabbage
- 1 cup cooked & shelled edamame beans
- 3 green onions
- ¼ cup toasted sesame seeds for garnish
- For the dressing:
- 4 Tbsp soy sauce
- 4 Tbsp fresh lime juice
- 4 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 2 Tbsp honey, agave or brown rice syrup
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons tahini or peanut butter
- 1 inch knob ginger, minced
- ½ teaspoon sriracha
- (PARENTAL SUPERVISION RECOMMENDED) Cook soba noodles according to package directions. Pour cooked noodles into a colander and rinse with cold water, until noodles are cold to the touch. Drain as much water from the noodles as possible. Drizzle sesame oil and toss to coat until use.
- Julienne all vegetables.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk dressing ingredients together and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, toss all salad ingredients together.
- Pour dressing over salad and toss to combine. Adjust seasoning to taste by adding additional soy (if you prefer to add more salt) or honey (if you prefer to add more sweetness) or Tahini (if you prefer to add a creamier finish).
By Chef Julian Pancer, The Chef Upstairs