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Vegetable Train: A fun kitchen activity for children

By Sheila Gregory, Currituck Extension

Pre-K and school-age children are full of energy, which can make hands-on lessons in the kitchen the perfect way to engage and entertain them.

Getting children to explore new vegetables is not always easy. Can you remember when you were a child and your parents said, “you may leave the table after you finish eating all of your vegetables?” Those brussels sprouts were not your favorite, so now try to put yourself in your child’s shoes.    

Do we as the parent ever consider the reason why they are making such a fuss at mealtime? We have to take into consideration that their taste buds are essentially magnified and some flavors are really strong to them. Some children prefer to avoid crunchy, soft or mixed-textured foods. Remember, some vegetables are bitter and children need to have an acquired taste. Learning to like bitter vegetables requires time and multiple experiences.

Getting your children involved in the kitchen is a good learning experience. You can add a new vegetable to either snack time or dinner. Try this fun creative healthy activity that the whole family can do together. It may even be a way to get your kid interested in new vegetables.

vegetable train

Courtesy Currituck Extension

Vegetable Train

Materials Needed

Bowls

Knife (A parent will need to assist)

Cutting board

Toothpicks

Ingredients

6 Peppers; red, green, orange and yellow

4 Cucumbers

2 Stalks of celery

2 Carrots

Directions

Wash all vegetables

Prep vegetables (parent assistance needed)

  1. Cut peppers in half and remove the seeds (body part for the train).
  2. Cut cucumbers in circles (use for wheels).
  3. Cut the cucumber and stalk of celery into short or medium length.
  4. Cut the peppers and carrots into short or medium length.
  5. Use toothpicks to join the peppers and cucumbers together.
  6. Insert the pepper, celery, carrots and cucumbers inside each pepper.

Eat and ENJOY!

For more information on healthy recipes and activities you can do with your child, contact Sheila Gregory at Sheila_gregory@ncsu.edu or 252-232-2261.

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