Take the pledge! Raise a food lover

The Amherst News - - COMMUNITY - Kerri Ro­bichaud

Food­wise

Can you be­lieve that back-toschool sea­son is here! It’s the time of year where fam­i­lies are be­gin­ning to set­tle back into their rou­tines af­ter en­joy­ing the sum­mer off.

As par­ents dust off the lunch boxes and get ready to think about how best to help fuel their kids for pro­duc­tive days ahead, I am happy to pro­vide you and your fam­ily some great ideas for some sim­ple healthy fall meals - and to in­tro­duce a pro­gram from At­lantic Su­per­store that will help get your fam­ily on the road to rais­ing a new gen­er­a­tion of food lovers!

In­volv­ing young kids in the kitchen is so im­por­tant; not only does it al­low you to spend more time to­gether but it’s also a great start to build­ing life­long skills and healthy habits. When you in­volve your kids in meal prepa­ra­tion, it en­cour­ages them to try foods they might never think to eat oth­er­wise. This can be as sim­ple as get­ting the kids to help pre­pare their school lunches by wash­ing and peel­ing veg­eta­bles, grat­ing cheese or as­sem­bling their wrap or sand­wich. Chil­dren will learn how to choose and pre­pare healthy foods, which in turn will set them up to cre­ate healthy meals they will ac­tu­ally want to eat.

Another great way to ed­u­cate the older kids is get­ting them in­volved in de­vel­op­ing a healthy lunch menu for them­selves. Cre­ate a list of food op­tions from dif­fer­ent food groups and have them mix and match by choos­ing one from three of the four food groups. When kids are part of the meal prepa­ra­tion process, they are more likely to be ex­cited about eat­ing lunch at school again – which will de­crease the chances of packed lunches be­ing left un­touched.

At­lantic Su­per­store is invit­ing par­ents to Raise a Food Lover through a va­ri­ety of fun ac­tiv­i­ties and re­sources, like fam­ily-friendly recipes and tips, cook­ing classes and more. First, fam­i­lies can take the pledge to Raise a Food Lover Rain­bow Fruit Par­fait with Home­made Gra­nola.

at www.at­lantic­su­per­store.ca/ raiseafoodlover. Then they can par­tic­i­pate in a series of sim­ple chal­lenges to get the ball rolling. The first chal­lenge, just in time for Back to School, is the

Cook To­gether Fam­ily Chal­lenge, which runs un­til Sept. 12. This is a great op­por­tu­nity for fam­i­lies to com­mit to cook­ing and eat­ing to­gether for at least one meal ev­ery week. Post a photo of your fam­ily meal on Face­book, Twit­ter or In­sta­gram us­ing the hash­tag #raiseafoodlover for a chance to win prizes.

Break­fast is also another very im­por­tant meal to keep in mind

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