Welcome to the Nighttime Talk Blog – the go-to place for ideas about what to discuss with children at bedtime.
Healthy Foods & Farmers Markets
May is here! Spring has sprung. The temperature is warming. Nature is thriving. It is a wonderful time of the year to read a book outside.
May is also a great month to shop for fresh produce at your local farmers market. All sorts of berries, including blueberries and strawberries – my daughter’s favorites – are back in season. Plus, you will find fresh peas, kale, and spinach among other yummy vegetables.
Food is a huge part of our lives. Food is our fuel. But food can also be educational and fun. That is why healthy eating is a great theme for your bedtime conversations this month.
Below are some simple conversation starters that you can have with a child about food at bedtime. Select one topic to start the conversation and then allow time for the child to respond and ask questions.
Bedtime Conversation Starters
- Produce: Produce is food made by farming. Examples of produce are fruits, vegetables, and dairy. Some produce is grown in the soil while other produce comes from farm animals like cows. What interests you about farming? Can you name another animal that farmers raise to make food?
- Fruits: Fruits grow from a flower of a plant and contain seeds. Fruits usually taste sweet or sour and come in many colors. Examples of fruits are apples, oranges, berries, and grapes. How about we name the colors of the fruits that I just listed? What is one fruit you like?
- Vegetables: Vegetables grow from the roots, leaves, and stems of plants. When compared with fruits, vegetables tend to taste more mild or savory. Examples of vegetables are asparagus, carrots, and lettuce. Can you name a vegetable that is green? What is one vegetable that we should eat this week?
- Dairy: Dairy comes from farm animals that make milk, like cows and goats. Examples of dairy products include milk and foods that are made from milk, like cheese. Some farmers make milk alternatives from almonds and soy for people who are intolerant to dairy foods. Can you name another dairy product? What is a meal that includes dairy?
- Farmers Market: Many farmers sell and deliver produce to supermarkets. Another place where farmers sell the foods that they make is the farmers market. Many communities have a farmers market where you can buy foods that are grown or made locally. What might you find at a farmers market? What is something you would like to learn from a farmer?
- Healthy Eating: Fruits, vegetables, and dairy foods have vitamins that keep our bodies healthy and help us fight diseases. Vitamin A keeps our organs, like our heart, working. Vitamin D helps us build strong bones. Can you name another vitamin? What else can we do to keep our bodies healthy?
- Food Activities: There are fun activities that we can do that involve food. We can visit the farmers market or supermarket to buy produce. We can research and cook new food recipes together. We can have a picnic outside. What is another activity that we can do that involves food? Which activity do you want to do this week?
After all that talk, your child will enjoy reading: What Might You Find At A Produce Parade by Jennifer Kennedy
This rhyming picture book characterizes more than a dozen fruits and vegetables walking in a parade. The story and illustrations are simple yet fun. That is why the book serves as a great introduction for young children to produce. Read this book before your next trip to the farmers market, and then see which fruits and vegetables your child can identify.
The book is written and illustrated by Jennifer Kennedy. Jennifer was kind enough to share her self-publishing journey with me when I was beginning mine. Supporting fellow authors is important for growth in the self-publishing community, which is another reason why I recommend her book.
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