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Farmers in Training: Teaching Agricultural & Nutritional Awareness to Youth

Getting kids to eat healthy is a task many parents struggle with. Another constant struggle is getting kids out of the house and focused on something other than a phone or television screen! Luckily, the UF/IFAS Extension Brevard County office is hosting a monthly program that helps with this and more!

Join us every third Thursday of the month at the Brevard County Farmers Market at Wickham Park in Melbourne for our Farmers in Training program. Here, kids can learn all about the health benefits and production of the chosen crop of the month, then continue onto a related physical activity and taste test using the featured ingredient. This allows children to get engaged and excited not only about what they are putting into their body, but where it comes from. Parents also get a chance to discover healthy new recipes and activities to try at home!

One of our recent featured produce items was watermelon, a delicious, refreshing, and in-season summer snack. On watermelon day, kids began by learning about how watermelons are produced and the various ways they can be eaten, along with some fun facts, on an interactive poster. They were then able to pick ingredients for a refreshing watermelon slushie that they made themselves on a smoothie bicycle. Afterwards, they got to enjoy their slushie and take home some watermelon themed crossword and math worksheets. Children who complete the nutrition activity, physical activity, and taste test earn 5 ‘farmers market bucks’ to spend on items of their choice at the farmers market.

Farmers in Training is a unique way for children and parents to enjoy time outdoors, learning about different crops and taking a stroll through the local farmers market. Children are educated on the produce of the month, play an active game, enjoy a healthy snack, and even earn ‘farmers market bucks’ to spend at the market where they can pick out even more healthy produce (and perhaps a cookie or local honey, of course)!

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