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One Mom’s Story

My 3-year-old picks up on so much. She loves to copy what I do. Sometimes she will ask for a food she saw me eat. And I didn’t even know she was watching me! So, I try to eat fruits and vegetables. That way she’ll want them too. My doctor told me that kids learn eating habits when they are young. I want my child to learn to eat fruits and vegetables so she’ll be healthy. It makes me feel good that I’m teaching her something she’ll use for life.

How can I help my child eat more fruits and vegetables?

  • Eat together. Let your child see you enjoying fruits and vegetables at meals and snacks.
  • Fix them together. Teach your child to tear lettuce or add veggie toppings to pizza.
  • Share the adventure. Try new fruits and vegetables together.

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  • Take it with you. Show your child how whole fruit is a great snack to eat at the park or in the shopping mall. Put apples, oranges, or bananas in your bag for quick snacks.

What kinds should we eat?

  • Fresh, frozen, and canned fruits and vegetables are all smart choices. Buy some of each to last until your next shopping trip.
  • Frozen vegetables have as many vitamins and minerals as fresh. Choose packages that contain vegetables — and nothing else — no added fat, salt, or sugars.
  • Buy canned fruits that are packed in “100% juice” or water.

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  • Rinse canned beans and vegetables with cold water to make them lower in salt
  • Look for canned vegetables that say “No added salt” on the front of the can. Buy them when they go on sale.
  • Cooked vegetables or ripe fruits that are cut into small pieces are easy for your child to eat.

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One Mom’s Story

As a mom, it’s my job to make sure my family gets the foods they need every day – like milk. That’s why I serve fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk to my kids. I also keep low-fat or fat-free yogurt and cheese in the house for healthy snacks. This helps my kids eat better, develop healthy habits, and grow strong.

Why is it important for my elementary child to drink milk?

Like children of all ages, elementary kids are still growing. So it’s important they drink the recommended amount of fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk to grow healthy and strong.
For kids ages 9-13, that’s about 3 cups of milk each day. And fat-free and low-fat (1%) fat milk contains nine key nutrients like calcium, protein, and vitamin D, just without the extra saturated fat.

3 cups of milk each day

100%

How do I increase the amount of milk my child gets?

  • Serve fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk with meals and snacks.
  • Put fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk at eye level in the refrigerator, so kids are more likely to see and ask for a glass or to have it poured over whole-grain cereal.
  • Add milk to some of your child’s favorite foods, such as soups and oatmeal. For example, make creamy tomato soup instead of classic tomato soup by adding 1% low-fat milk.

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•Occasionally, let your kids have some flavored fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk. Compare nutrition labels at the store and choose flavored milks with the least amount of sugar.
•Enjoy a glass of low-fat milk or yogurt with your child. Or, make a parfait together by layering low-fat yogurt, your favorite fruit, and unsalted nuts or cereal. There are many types of low-fat milk foods, so there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Tips for becoming more active as a family

  • Set specific activity times 

    Determine time slots throughout the week when the whole family is available. Devote a few of these times to physical activity. Try doing something active after dinner or begin the weekend with a Saturday morning walk.

  • Plan ahead and track your progress 

    Write your activity plans on a family calendar. Let the kids help in planning the activities. Allow them to check it off after completing each activity.

  • Include work around the house 

    Involve the kids in yard work and other active chores around the house. Have them help you with raking, weeding, planting, or vacuuming.

  • Use what is available 

    Plan activities that require little or no equipment or facilities. Examples include walking, jogging, jumping rope, playing tag, and dancing. Find out what programs your community recreation center offers for free or minimal charge.

  • Build new skills 

    Enroll the kids in classes they might enjoy such as gymnastics, dance, or tennis. Help them practice. This will keep things fun and interesting, and introduce new skills!

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    *content source – ChooseMyPlate.Gov 

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Additional Resources

Michigan Food Assistance Program

People who need help buying nutritious food for a better diet, call the toll free Michigan Food Assistance Program Hotline: (855) ASK-MICH.
WIC – Women, Infants and Children Supplemental Nutrition Program

WIC is the Women, Infants and Children Supplemental Nutrition Program. It is a health and nutrition program. Women who are pregnant (or were recently pregnant), and children up to age 5 that qualify for WIC benefits get healthy foods, education, and referrals to other services.
Find a Farmers Market Tool

Find a farmers market near you and explore additional resources on the Michigan Farmers Market Association’s webpage.