show them the way

Mother and son sledding in Northern Michigan

eat fruits and veggies every day

  • There are significant health benefits to getting 7 to 11 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day. They are filled with vitamins and minerals our bodies need, reduce the risk of chronic disease, and help us to stay healthy across our lifespan.

    One portion of fruits or vegetables is equal to 3 ounces or 2/3 cup, which is about 2 broccoli spears, 4 heaped tablespoons of cooked kale, spinach, or green beans, 1 medium apple or banana, or 2 canned pear or peach halves.

    Here are some tips to make eating fruits and vegetables fun for you and your family…

  • Eat together. Let your child see you enjoying fruits and vegetables at meals and snacks.
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    Fix them together. Teach your child to tear lettuce or add veggie toppings to pizza.
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    Share the adventure. Try new fruits and vegetables together.
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    Take it with you. Show your child how whole fruit and vegetables are a great snack to eat from the park to the shopping mall. Put apples, oranges, bananas, string beans, sugar snap peas, celery, or carrots in your bag for quick snacks.

Young boy eating a red apple

some of our favorite tips

  • Fresh, frozen, and canned fruits and vegetables are all smart choices.
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    Buy canned fruits that are packed in “100% juice” or water.
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    Frozen vegetables have as many vitamins and minerals as fresh. Choose packages that say they contain just vegetables — nothing else — no added fat, salt, or sugars.
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    Rinse canned beans and vegetables with cold water to make them lower in salt.
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    Look for canned vegetables that say “No added salt” on the front of the can. Buy them when they go on sale.
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    Cut cooked vegetables or ripe fruits into small pieces so they are easy for your child to eat and to prevent choking hazards.

go out and play

  • Move more, sit less. We all need physical activity to stay strong and healthy. From sleeping better to getting better grades, being active helps in so many ways. And, when you move with your kids, you get the benefits, too.

    Here are some tips to be active with your family and friends…

  • Plan ahead. Write your activity plans on a family calendar. Invite friends and family to a shared calendar. Set reminders to be active on your smartphone or computer.
  • Share the adventure. Take the family dog for a walk. It is a great low impact way to be active, and great for your dog too.
  • Celebrate those special occasions by doing something active, like walking or biking on a local trail, playing a ball at the local park, or making a day of it at the local nature center.
  • Set a regular schedule during the week when the whole family is available to be active together, like a walk after dinner or a Saturday morning bike ride. Let the kids help plan activities and check them off the calendar when completed.

  • Have fun with yard work and other active chores around the house. Teach the kids to help you with raking, weeding, planting, cleaning, laundry, and vacuuming and help them build skills that will last a lifetime.

Family at the park having apples for a snack

some of the benefits of being physically active

  • From sleeping better to getting better grades, being active helps in so many ways.
  • Be active every day. We all need physical activity to stay strong and healthy.
  • When you move with your kids, you get the benefits, too.
  • Being active as a family is a great way to spend time together.
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    Drink plenty of fresh water before, during, and after physical activity.
  • Being physically active helps build and maintain healthy bones, muscles, and joints, and is vital to our health and well-being.


No cost, low cost ways to be active
There are so many ways to be active that don’t need to cost a lot of money. Plan activities like walking, running, dancing, jumping rope, playing tag, or heading to a local park or playground to use the facilities. Find out what programs your community recreation center offers for free or minimal charge. Need some ideas, tips, and motivation, check out your local parks and recreation department.

Make time to be active
Making time for fun family activities like walking, biking, swimming, and playing sports together teaches children skills and deepens family relationships. Enrolling kids in classes where they can be physically active helps them develop new relationships and the confidence to try new ways to be active. Encouraging your children to spend time every day in unstructured play activities is important and teaches them that being active is fun. Prioritizing physical activity increases the likelihood that your children will continue to be active throughout their lives.

Four Season Fun
Celebrate the changing seasons with activities that are fun no matter the weather in the spring, summer, fall, and winter. Enjoy being active inside or outside throughout the year. Visit michigan.org for no cost/low cost ways to be active across the state.

they learn from watching you

My kids picks up on so much. They love to copy what we do as parents. They will ask for a food they saw us eat, and we didn’t even know they were paying attention to what we were eating! So, we’ve decided to eat more fruits and vegetables. That way they can learn from watching us and we can all benefit from eating healthy.

As a mom, it’s my job to make sure my family gets the foods they need every day – like fruits and veggies. I also keep low-fat or fat-free yogurt and cheese in the house for healthy snacks. This helps my kids eat better, have more focus at school, and grow strong.

My doctor told me that children learn how to eat when they are young. So, I make meals with a lot of fruits and vegetables and I want my family to eat foods that really nourish us. It makes me feel good that I’m teaching the kiddos something they’ll use for life.

Bring Michigan’s Fresh Coast flavors to your meals. Head to the farmers market to take a market tour, taste some recipes samples, and meet the farmers who grow your food. Farmers Market Food Navigators will give you the tools you need to make meals at home using farm fresh fruits and veggies, and help you save money on your food budget. Tap the link above to find a participating farmers market near you.

Join the Michigan Farm to Family: CSA program to purchase locally grown, freshly harvested produce for just $5-7 a week when paying with SNAP/EBT. It’s easy to join and a great way to purchase fresh farm boxes filled with fruits and vegetables grown by local community supported agriculture (CSA) farmers. Tap the link above to find a CSA near you and bring fresh food from your local farm to your table!

Mitten Eats™ features recipes that use Michigan grown fruits and veggies. Every recipe is affordable, seasonal, easy to make, and tastes great.


When your budget it tight, there is help available. Michigan 2-1-1 is a free service that connects Michigan residents with help and answers from thousands of health and human services agencies and community resources —quickly, easily, and confidentially. Tap the link or call 211.

Michiganders who receive food assistance can buy food online from select retailers using their Bridge Cards. To learn more, tap the link above.

Get connected with support and inspiration for seasonal meals and recipes, resources, and conversations about food.

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