Create opportunities for pantry clients to see how items they are receiving can be used to create a healthy meal.
Create a simple cold or hot dish for clients to sample. Note that Fairfax County Health Department requires running water if the meal is prepared onsite. Another option is to have volunteers prepare a recipe in advance to be sampled.
Provide printed recipe cards (English/Spanish) for participants to take home.
Display printouts of different healthy snack options (or use real or fake food if that’s an option).
Have food items where children can build a snack by pairing two foods (e.g., fruit and cheese).
Have printouts of healthy and unhealthy snack options and have kids decide which is best.
Show the sugar and sodium content of unhealthy snack options, and provide healthier alternatives.
MyPlate bean bag toss:
Have children name a food that belongs in each of the five food groups and then toss the bean bag into the correct food group. This game can also be done with a plastic MyPlate and food models, having the children place the food models in the correct food category. While playing, explain why it is important to incorporate a variety of foods (nutrients).
Butterfly Snack Bags Craft:
Have children decorate a clothes pin with fabric markers, stick on googly eyes and pipe cleaners to look like a butterfly. Set up a make-your-own trial mix station and have children fill their bags about ¾ way full. Clip the trail mix bags in the middle, so the bag becomes the butterfly “wings.”
Small Ziploc bags, paper bowls, plastic spoons, train mix supplies (seeds, dried fruit, whole grain cereal, etc.), wooden clothes pins, fabric markers (or any marker that will color on wood), stick on googly eyes, pipe cleaners.