Kids at the Farmer’s Market: Cooking with Local Food

— Written By and last updated by Nancie Mandeville
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two girls making a recipe

Cheri Bennett, from Cooperative Extension’s Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) and the Union County Public Library partnered to do a summer storytime and nutrition program for parents and their children at the Union County Farmer’s Market, located at 805 Skyway Drive Monroe, NC.

Shelley Fearn and Kelly Cehelnik from the Union County Public Library presented morning storytime for the children. The delightful stories had themes that centered around food and nutrition.

The goal of the program was to encourage children to experience cooking, try a variety of fruits and vegetables, and enjoy the adventures of reading to develop healthy minds and bodies, in addition to exposing more families to local foods and the County Farmer’s Market. Research from EFNEP shows that on average, it takes 9 different occasions to encourage a child to try new foods. When children grow it or cook it, they are more likely to eat it. According to the Journal of Pediatric Nurses (April/June 2016), the World Health Organization’s Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity, one of the tactics proposed to combat the problem of obesity in children is to promote nutrition literacy.

A special thanks to Leigh Coulter, Manager, Union County Farmer’s Market and Mr. Jerry Moore of Creekside Farms, located in Marshville, NC, for his donation of fresh vegetables to the families participating.