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[Free Resources] June Is National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month

[Free Resources] June Is National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month

National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month comes at the perfect time each year! Not only are some of the delicious fruits and veggies at their tastiest, but it’s also the beginning of summer vacation. Students who are home for the summer will most likely have the easiest access to junk foods and could use a refresher on why fresh foods are the better choice when the snack-time munchies come around.

Celebrate National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month with free downloadable resources from EducationCity! You can use these printable packets to engage your students in a meaningful discussion to help them  understand the nutritional value of different fruits and vegetables right before summer break. Or, you can print out the packets to send home as a fun, healthy summer activity!

When children are home during summer break, they are exposed to easy-to-grab junk foods at nearly every turn, with online ads, television commercials, and billboards—even when in their own kitchens when they are looking for a snack! That’s why it‘s important to make eating healthy part of their summer fun. Check out these three summer activities you can do with your students before summer break or encourage them to try on their own during vacation:

1. Visit the Farmer’s Market

What better place to learn all about freshly grown fruits and vegetables than the local farmer’s market? Take a few minutes to poll your class on how many students are familiar with their local farmer’s market. Engage in a class discussion to see how many students have been to the farmer’s market, what they might find there, and what makes it different from the produce section at the supermarket or grocery store? You can search this directory from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to find out where the nearest farmer’s market is, when it’s open, and what kind of special community events it might be having over the summer, and then forward that information to your classroom parents for a fun, “family field trip” idea. Suggest that your students go with their families and play a game like famer’s market bingo or embark on a ready-made farmer’s market scavenger hunt. After all, it’s always more fun to learn about eating healthy when the whole family is involved!

2. Make a List of New Fruits and Veggies to Try

For some children, being asked to try a new fruit or vegetable is like asking them to eat mud. Many won’t want to do it. But, sometimes, getting a child to see trying a new fruit or vegetable as a way to accomplish a goal, rather than being forced to eat something they may not like, is an easier way to introduce new healthy fresh foods into their diets. Have your students select a few new fruits or vegetables they have never eaten before (but would be open to trying) to add to their “I want to try” list. They can add as many as they want, but they should at least put one or two down and make it their goal to try these new healthy foods at least once over the summer. If there is time for a little bit of researching, ask your students to learn more about their selected fruits or veggies. Have students find out where they grow best, how many different varieties there are, if they have any interesting plant cousins, what sort of recipes they are used in, and what sort of uses they have besides being eaten. Who knows—maybe learning a little more about their new vegetable or fruit will help students feel more comfortable including it in their regular diet?

3. End the School Year with Goodbye Gardens

Scratching your head trying to figure out a fun parting favor to give your students? Why not try handing out a “goodbye garden” on the last day of school! Simply attach a fun personal note or poem to a packet of garden vegetable seeds (you can get bulk packs of assorted heirloom veggies for cheap) and pass them out on the last day of class. That way, your students have the opportunity to grow their very own vegetables over summer break. If school is already out, you can always send your students a note in the mail and include the seeds in a card with your well wishes for their summer break. This fun idea not only leaves your students with something to remember you by over break, but it can also help spark an interest in gardening over the summer and, if they’re lucky, provide a fun way to connect with eating healthy.

Looking for more fun resources to share with your students this summer? Check out this free and engaging resources packet from EducationCity that explores the science behind this month’s summer solstice!