By Julia Howard
If you’ve ever struggled with getting your child to eat fruits and vegetables, I understand how frustrating it can be. Family mealtime can feel like a nutritional battleground where no one wins, and everyone feels defeated. But don’t lose heart. Exposing your child to fruits and vegetables without pressure is key, and the Saratoga Farmers’ Market’s new partnership with the Better Bites program is here to help.
The Better Bites Bunch recently joined Saratoga Farmers’ Market’s POP Club for Kids with engaging character messaging in an environment abundant with fresh fruit and vegetables. POP Club is a 12-week Wednesday market program offering children and families fun activities. Children who participate receive a $2 POP coin to spend on fruit and vegetables of their choice; this may be the moment that your “picky eater” takes a bite of something new.
“The farmers’ market and Better Bites are a natural fit,” says Jodie Fitz, Better Bites program developer. “Children are having an immediate connection and building a positive relationship with healthy foods by participating in games and activities at the farmers’ market.”
Better Bites is a licensed, registered dietitian-approved program designed to encourage a healthy lifestyle by bringing awareness to proper hydration, an active lifestyle, and increasing fruit and vegetable consumption.
The character messaging within Better Bites immediately engages children with Jodie’s cast of loveable characters that embody the program’s philosophy. For picky eaters, Better Bites introduces Teeny the Tiny Taste Tester, a fairy who reminds children to try a teeny tiny taste because ‘…you never know if something is thumbs up or thumbs down until you actually try it.’ While Teeny shares other messages, Fitz explains that the characters have a magical touch with their messaging that has an impact.
At POP Club, Better Bites activities have included a fruit and vegetable memory game, farmers’ market bingo and scavenger hunt, and character coloring sheets displayed at vendors’ farm stands. All activities are paired with prizes and $2 POP coins.
Better Bites will return for POP Club’s season finale on Wednesday, September 6. The program continues to build community relations at area schools and community programs, servicing pre-k to 5th-grade students. For more information, visit https://www.jodiefitz.com/better-bites/.
The Saratoga Farmers’ Market is open on Wednesdays from 3:00 – 6:00 p.m. and Saturdays from 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. at High Rock Park in Downtown Saratoga. Find us online at www.saratogafarmersmarket.org, where you can sign up for our weekly newsletter, and follow us on Facebook and Instagram @SaratogaFarmersMarket.