Combine books and food for fun: Blueberries

Peek a child’s interest through a book and then apply it to food.

Blueberries are a fun super fruit that can be enjoyed by all ages. They are also a great reason to get outdoors and involve children in the kitchen. Michigan State University Extension’s Produce Availability Chart shows that mid-July through mid-September is the prime time to enjoy these blue-hued bits.

Michigan Blueberry Growers Association says that these tasty berries offer more than four times as many health-giving antioxidants as grapefruit, white grapes, bananas and apples. Blueberries contain the phytochemical (plant chemical) anthocyanin, an anti-oxidant and anti-cancer substance. Anthocyanin may also help protect against heart disease. Berries are also packed with fiber.

While young children may not be too interested in the nutritional benefits of blueberries they may be interested in picking blueberries. Picking blueberries is a way to get outdoors, get kids involved and get some physical activity.

After or before the blueberries are picked, you can introduce a book to peek your child’s interest. Two recommended books are Caldecott Honor book, Blueberries for Sal, by Robert McCloskey or Blueberry Mouse, by Alice Low.

Use books to peek a child’s interest in a topic. Connect a book with an activity. Ask questions about the book while picking blueberries. In Blueberry Mouse, for example the mouse nibbles her house made of blueberry pie. A great question for kids would be, “What else could Blueberry Mouse make her house out of? The book ends with her whipping up a blueberry cake. What ideas come to your mind?” Ask yourself if these are things you can make with your child.

Blueberry muffins and blueberry pancakes are some go to favorites. You can also add blueberries to smoothies, yogurt or maybe blueberry ice-cream. The possibilities are only as endless as the ideas you and your child think of.

This is an opportunity to try new things, teach your children about Michigan grown produce, pick your own produce and to peek a child’s interest through a book with a real-life, hands-on lesson.

For more ideas read Combine books and food for fun: Strawberries.

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