By: Shanna Rottloff, Montana State University Community Health Intern
Who is small and fuzzy and absolutely adores fruits and vegetables? Willow! That’s right; it’s our friend Willow the bunny and she is coming to visit the Healthy Gallatin WIC office. Willow loves to teach children (and their parents!) all about food and how it is grown. Introducing children to new fruits and vegetables can often times be difficult and end in frustration, but Willow is here to help! Willow makes it easy and fun to incorporate a variety of fresh foods in your child’s diet.
Join us each month as Willow explores different seasonal produce and shows families how to prepare simple, nutritious meals. Everyone gets to join in on the fun with a sensory hands-on experience. Willow shares stories and poems about new foods with children in an engaging way. Kids are encouraged to touch, smell, and most importantly taste a variety of fresh, seasonal produce. Research shows that when children have the opportunity to interact with a new food by using all of their senses, they are more likely to eat and enjoy it in the future. When shopping, parents often stick to familiar fruits and vegetables because they know their children will like them; Willow gives hesitant parents a chance to explore new produce with their children in a fun and creative way.
The next time you come to your WIC appointment, be sure to ask how you and your family can meet Willow the bunny!