What's a Supermarket Fruit loop?
So just what is a Supermarket Fruit Loop?
Well… it’s a grocery cart "loop” around the produce section with your child looking for various kinds of fruit. This can be part of an "I Spy” game. Be on the lookout for fruits that grow on trees (e.g. apples, cherries, peaches, pears) or those that grow on vines (e.g. berries and grapes). Also watch for fruits classified as "citrus” (oranges, limes, lemons) or "tropical” (bananas, pineapples, coconut) or "melons” (cantaloupes, honeydew, watermelon.) As you can see, this is a great time to practice the skill of categorizing.
It is also a chance to allow your child to do comparisons. Talk about the difference in size; identify the various shapes; feel all the textures, see if s/he can detect smells; and don’t forget to point out all the colors we see in fruits. For the older child, identify all the varieties of grapes or apples. If possible, purchase one of each variety and do a "taste test” when you get home. Won’t Grandma be surprised when your six-year-old states that Fuji apples and red seedless grapes are the best?
As you walk through the store, teach your child all the places fruits can be found. Look at the canned, frozen, and dried fruits. Find fruit juices in the canned juices and in the dairy section. How many desserts or cereals feature fruits? Fruits can be found in jellies, pie fillings, and even ice cream toppings.
Wow! Fruits are everywhere you look, and your child will know where to find them. Just think of the day when you’ll be able to send your child to pick up two jars of applesauce while you shop in the meat section! And, when children help select the food that is purchased, they are more likely to eat it.
Speaking of eating, when you get home, wash and serve some of the fruit for snacks. Maybe a fresh fruit salad could be prepared for dinner. And there’s always peach pie or baked apples for dessert.
Children of all ages will benefit from learning about fruits, everything from simply identifying fruits to discussing the nutritional value of various fruits to helping your child bake a fruit pie. It will take a few years before you run out of things to teach on this subject.
So get started this week. Fruit loops can be fun!
Tags: grocery education educating kids educating family grocery store education produce aisle produce fruits fruit
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