We are excited to bring you a fun (and edible!) activity from Noelle Martin. This one features beans because May is Bean Month at Veggie Buds Club!
Noelle Martin is a Registered Dietitian and mom of three young boys. She has a passion for education, inspiring, and empowering moms to make healthy choices for themselves and their families. Noelle loves involving her children in food planning and preparation for their home and sees the kitchen as a perfect area for teaching both academic and life skills. Follow @MotherhoodandMeals on Instagram for Noelle's nutrition tips, recipes, product reviews, and motherhood moments.
Sometimes children are apprehensive about trying foods because they don’t know how it will taste. Other times they are uncertain of the texture or they worry that if they eat one bite then they will have to finish all that is in front of them. Enter FOOD ART! Being creative with foods allows for a child to have food exposures without the commitment of actually eating the food AND it allows them to touch it to learn more about the texture. Children love crafts and it has been my experience that my boys creativity far outweighs my own. When we do food art they have incredible suggestions to add to my initial vision.
This month in honour of Veggie Buds Club's “bean theme”, the boys helped me make a vegetable based flower garden using beans and peppers. I had a vision for what we would do but they took over and added pepper seeds as “bugs”, and more shapes in the sky as birds and butterflies. After we made it everyone asked to eat some of the food and of course I said YES!!! A total win-win for fun with food followed by a nourishing snack.
Do your kids like food art? If so, what types of things would you enjoy making with veggies your children are apprehensive about?
We are excited to bring you a very special guest blogger this month! Melanie Potock is a speech pathologist who specializes in picky eating. The kids that work with Melanie call her “Coach Mel” because she’s their food coach! After helping thousands of kids learn to eat a variety of healthy foods, Coach Mel decided to write her fourth book on a problem facing so many parents today – How to help kids learn to LOVE veggies. Just like Veggie Buds Club, Melanie embraces her work knowing that all kids can learn to love vegetables!
Her latest book, Adventures in Veggieland, is based on her professional 3-step plan that takes kids from FUN to YUM! It’s based on Coach Mel's philosophy of the Three E’s: Expose, Explore, Expand. This delightful cookbook walks parents and kids through twenty different vegetables, presented according to season. Each vegetable experience starts with food play – a fun craft or a game that focuses on a new vegetable, like the activity below for exposing kids to beets before exploring simple, tasty recipes that kids make with their parents. The family then expands to fancier recipes, including some veggie-desserts, like super-moist choco-beet cupcakes. YUM!
These Beet Tattoos are featured in this month’s issue of Parents Magazine and when we asked Coach Mel if we could share them with you too, she said “Of course, and I’ll be sure to tell you the secret to removing them too! Just take a piece of raw potato under running water and it will magically erase the beet tattoos. That is, if your kid will let you remove them. Chances are, your kid will be too proud of how s/he licked and stamped their own temporary tat!
Beets come in a variety of colors and, fortunately, can temporarily stain your skin yellow, red, pink, and purple. Yes, it's a good thing! Kids need to explore foods in a fun way before they consider tasting them. Temporary tattoos are sure to be a hit with kids of all ages.
What you'll need:
We're having fun featuring a new letter each week in our house, and since this is Veggie Buds Club plenty of our activities feature healthy veggies! Below find 9 activities that teach your preschool-aged kids about the letter "B" (and that veggies are fun and tasty!).
1. Read Books!
Enjoy our recommended "B" books featuring veggies and fruit (and honey!):
2. Paint with Broccoli
Simply dip broccoli florets in washable paint and use them as "paintbrushes" and/or slice broccoli florets in half to make "tree stamps". So simple and so fun!
3. Letter "B" Tracing
Download this FREE letter "B" tracing sheet from Veggie Buds Club.
4. Bake Some Beet Brownies!
5. Letter "B" Coloring Pages
Download these FREE letter "B" coloring pages from Veggie Buds Club.
6. Bake Some Broccoli Nuggets
Enjoy this delicious kid-approved recipe that was included in Veggie Buds Club's "Kids Love Broccoli" box! You can find the recipe on on our blog here.
7. Make Beet Watercolor
8. Broccoli Activity Sheets
Have fun with these Broccoli activity sheets! Create the letter "B" by using dot stickers or dot paint with Activity Sheet #1. Fill in the letter "B" with broccoli florets with Activity Sheet #2 (bonus if you have a laminator!).
9. Play Bean Tic Tac Toe
Make a Tic Tac Toe board out of green beans and use two different types of dry beans as the X's and O's! You can also go a step further and create the letter "B" with dry beans and greens beans. Be sure to eat some green beans as a snack while you play!
We're having fun featuring a new letter each week in our house, and since this is Veggie Buds Club plenty of our activities feature healthy veggies and fruit! Below find 7 activities that teach your preschool-aged kids about the letter "A" (and that veggies and fruit are fun!).
1. Read Books!
Here are some of our recommended books featuring veggies & fruit and the letter "A":
2. "A" is for Apple Craft
Both my 2 and 4 year old had fun with this craft! I cut out some apple seed shapes and drew the lower case letter "a" and apple stem on construction paper. My 4 year old was able to trace the word "Apple", cut out the "a" and stem and use a glue stick to put the picture together. I assisted my 2 year old through the whole craft, he particularly enjoyed using the glue stick!
3. Letter "A" Tracing
Download this FREE Letter "A" Tracing Sheet below:
4. Make Applesauce!
Enjoy this simple kid-friendly recipe for Applesauce (we added a carrot because this is Veggie Buds Club!). Your kids can help peel and chop the apples and carrot. Have them measure and add the apple juice and then observe the rest of the process.
5. Letter "A" Coloring Pages
Download these FREE Letter "A" Coloring Pages!
6. Apple-Toothpick Building
Here is a simple and fun "snacktivity" that is great for fine motor skills, problem solving, and encourages healthy eating. My 2 year old is not an apple fan (he's more of a berries and grapes guy) and he totally ate up these apple chunks on toothpicks!
7. Apple Oxidation Science Experiment
This is a simple science experiment for young kids! Even if they're too young to process why oxidation happens, it is still great to expose them to the idea of a "science experiment" and "observation". Make sure they observe what the apple halves look like at the beginning of the experiment vs. the end!
There are compounds in apples that turn brown when they are exposed to air which contain oxygen. This process is called oxidation. If you add an acid to the apple this prevents oxidation, and lemons are very acidic.
We made this fun veggie-filled holiday card! We hope you enjoy this free printable and spread some veggie cheer!
Simply download the above PDF and print: to align properly print double-sided and "flip on long edge".
Back to school season is in full swing and here is a fun and simple way to decorate those boring ol' paper lunch bags! This is also a cute way to decorate goody bags for a fall-themed gathering or birthday party.
Apple Stamp Lunch Bag
This pea necklace activity is so simple yet so effective when it comes to getting your kids to eat veggies. We recommend using sugar snap peas as these tend to be a veggie that children are more likely to enjoy (they are super sweet and crunchy), another option are flat snow peas.
This is a great activity to do during your child's morning or afternoon snack time, encourage them to eat peas while they string their pea necklace!
How to Make a Pea Necklace