As parents, it is important to help your children build healthy habits. One of the best ways to do so is to plan healthy activities and snacks that also incorporate learning. This will allow them to have fun while laying the groundwork for their future habits. Here are some activities and snacks that can teach your children about being healthy while stimulating their minds:

A great activity to try with your children is to take them to a farmer’s market. Children love to observe their parent’s habits and mimic them; therefore it is vital to lead by example. Teach them the importance of healthy eating by taking them to a farmer’s market and loading up on fresh produce. While picking up each item, explain how it fits into a healthy diet and why it is good for their bodies.

Not only will you be buying produce that you need, you will also be establishing the foundation for your child’s diet. To make it more engaging, you could even give him/her money to spend on something healthy. This will help start their healthy decision making and reinforce their love for healthy food.

Another activity to try with your little ones is to make smiley face snacks. All you’ll need are ingredients that are already in your kitchen or ones you can pick up at the farmer’s market like: grape tomatoes, red peppers, rice cakes, hummus, raisins, and carrots. You can substitute any of these ingredients with whatever you have available to make it easier. First, you will need to prepare the ingredients by cutting the grape tomatoes in half, the red peppers into strips and grating the carrots. Now it’s time to start the activity!

Gather your children to create the smiley faces. Together, you can spread hummus on the rice cakes then add the other ingredients to create a face. For example, use the grape tomato halves for the eyes, a raisin for the nose, a red pepper strip for the smile and the grated carrots for the hair. In addition to exercising your child’s creativity and motor skills, you will also be creating a heathy snack for them to enjoy!

After your child has had the chance to make healthy choices at the farmer’s market and create their own healthy snacks, consider having a picnic lunch and enjoy a meal outdoors. Help your child decide what to bring and build a complete lunch. Make sure to pack their favorite food items that they spent money on at the farmer’s market and pair your picnic with a physical activity. This will give your child an opportunity to run around and exercise outdoors while enjoying the fresh air and their healthy snacks. These are simple activities to try with your little ones and will help motivate them to eat healthy and exercise.

These activities not only combine play time and learning for your children, they’re also great ways to bond with them! Choosing healthy food items from the farmer’s market and making snacks together are great ways to interact and teach them important skills about living a healthy lifestyle. The future of a child is influenced by his/her upbringing, which is why it is essential to develop healthy habits early on.