-TEACH KIDS ABOUT HEALTHY EATING-
Shredding carrots was the best part for some of the kids at the healthy snacking demo. Each participant got to take home their carrot peeler along with their new snack idea.
Power of Produce (POP) Club
The parents of Yanceyville now have some help convincing their kids to eat their veggies. The Caswell County Local Foods Council started a Power of Produce (POP) Club to introduce children to local fruits and vegetables. The club is completely volunteer-run, and is based on the POP Program from the Farmer’s Market Coalition. It is held at the local farmer’s market, local schools, and the library.
At the farmers’ market, all children are invited to join the “Two Bite Club.” If they try two bites of that week’s featured produce, they receive a $5 coupon to spend at the farmers’ market. The POP Club also visits classrooms with a basket of items from the market, and they play games to introduce students to the market. Finally, the POP Club holds programs at the library to teach kids about healthy and local foods.
Example Program - Healthy Snacking
The Pop Club met at the library to learn about healthy snack options. They started by taste-testing four kinds of grapes and voting on their favorite. The instructor then offered raisins, which some people said they didn’t like. However, once they learned that raisins are just dried grapes, everyone was willing to try one!
Next, they made a healthy snack that the kids could make by themselves. They started with a whole-wheat tortilla and cream cheese. They then shredded a carrot using a peeler, and an apple using a cheese grater. They added the carrots, apples, and raisins to the tortilla, then rolled it all up and enjoyed their snack! Even though it wasn’t everyone’s favorite, each child tried at least two bites.
The Farmer’s Market Coalition has some great resources for creating your own POP Club, including an activity guide, promotional materials, and a POP Passport for kids. However, you do need to join the Coalition to have access to these resources (a $40 fee). If you aren’t ready to make that commitment, the University of Minnesota has a similar POP Toolkit available for free.
To make your POP Club a success, you will also need:
Dedicated Volunteers: You may be able to find interested volunteers at your local farmers’ market, churches, or schools. You can also reach out to your local Cooperative Extension office to see if they have Master Food Volunteers.
Locations: Besides holding your POP Club at the Farmers’ Market, consider visiting local churches, schools, and other community centers to spread the word to people who may not normally go to
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