Try a new fruit or veggie every week, nurse practitioner says

Health experts say trying a new fruit or vegetable every week can help kids learn to eat healthy for life. (MGN Online)

July is Fresh Produce Month, and health experts say trying a new fruit or vegetable every week can help kids learn to eat healthy for life.

In this week's Family First segment, KRCG 13 spoke with SSM Health Family Nurse Practitioner Christine Hurt about how to help add variety to a typical fresh produce routine. "Trying something on a regular basis is a good idea, we can all get into ruts where we just eat corn and green beans, corn and green beans," she said.

Hurt said keeping fresh produce fresh for your family can be about more than just eating fruits and veggies before their expiration date.

She suggested a three step approach for parents. Firstly, lead by example: "You have to eat several foods and vegetables if you want your kid to eat several fruits and vegetables," she said.

Secondly, have your kids weigh in on what they want to try: "I like the idea of taking your kid with you, either out into your garden, your farmer's market, or the grocery store, and kind of letting the kid be involved in what you pick," Hurt said.

Lastly, she advised rewarding good behavior with an opportunity to kids make more choices: "Many people take their kids to the store, and if they're good, they'll let them pick a treat. A good treat instead can be, 'You get to pick the vegetable two days this week.'"

At the end of the day, Hurt said there's no child that will like every fruit or vegetable - and if you do have a picky eater, try changing up the cooking method to find what your child likes best. "Sometimes people like their food cooked, and sometimes people like their food raw. If your kid likes raw carrots versus cooked carrots, it doesn't matter, they're eating their carrots," she said.

Watch KRCG 13 at 5 p.m. next Friday for our next Family First segment - we'll talk with a physician about his philosophy on how doctors can best help patients achieve their own personal health goals.

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