show them the way

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. One portion equals 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 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.

Fresh snacks on the go
Mom and son eating salad

some of our favorite tips

  • Fresh, frozen, and canned fruits and vegetables are all smart choices.
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    Frozen vegetables have as many vitamins and minerals as fresh. Choose packages that contain vegetables — and nothing else — no added fat, salt, or sugars.
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    Buy canned fruits that are packed in “100% juice” or water.

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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…

  • 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.
  • Plan ahead. Write your activity plans on a family calendar. Let the kids help plan activities and check them off the calendar when completed.
  • 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.
Father teaching daughter to jump rope outside on a summer day
Family taking a walk together

some of the benefits of being physically active

  • From sleeping better to getting better grades, being active helps in so many ways.
  • Move more, sit less. 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.


Set specific activity times
Determine time slots throughout the week when the whole family is available. Devote a few of these times to physical activity. Try doing something active after dinner or begin the weekend with a Saturday morning walk.

Plan ahead and track your progress
Write your activity plans on a family calendar. Let the kids help in planning the activities. Allow them to check it off after completing each activity.

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.

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 Move Your Way.

Activities at home
Involve the kids in yard work and other active chores around the house. Have them help you with raking, weeding, planting, cleaning, laundry, and vacuuming. This is a great way for kids to be active, feel accomplished, and build skills that will last a lifetime.

Four Season Fun
Celebrate the changing seasons with activities that are fun no matter the weather in the spring, summer, fall, and winter. Check out your local parks and recreation department for indoor and outdoor facilities, sports, events, classes, and more. Many communities offer beautiful parks and trails, gymnasiums, swimming pools, spray parks, indoor and outdoor tracks, pickleball, tennis, soccer, basketball and volleyball courts, sledding, tubing, ice skating, and a wide-range of activities for youth, adults and seniors. 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 3-year-old picks up on so much. She loves to copy what I do. Sometimes she will ask for a food she saw me eat. And I didn’t even know she was watching me! So, I try to eat fruits and vegetables. That way she’ll want them too.

As a mom, it’s my job to make sure my family gets the foods they need every day – like milk. That’s why I serve fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk to my kids. I also keep low-fat or fat-free yogurt and cheese in the house for healthy snacks. This helps my kids eat better, develop healthy habits, and grow strong.

My doctor told me that kids learn eating habits when they are young. I want my child to learn to eat fruits and vegetables so she’ll be healthy. It makes me feel good that I’m teaching her something she’ll use for life.

Get all of Michigan’s Fresh Coast flavors. Bring the kids and take a market tour, taste some samples, get delicious recipe ideas, and meet the farmers who grow your food. Farmers Market Food Navigators will help you optimize your food dollars so you can make meals at home using delicious locally grown fruits and veggies.

Join the Michigan Farm to Family: CSA program to purchase locally grown, freshly harvested produce for just $5-10 a week when paying with SNAP/EBT. It’s easy to join and a great way to get a weekly box of nutritious, fresh fruits and vegetables grown by local farmers for your family. There are over 20 participating farms and organizations around the state with more being added each spring. Tap the directory to find a CSA near you.

Michigan Harvest of the Month™ is website known for practical, healthy recipes for meals and side-dishes that highlight Michigan grown fruits and veggies. All recipes are made with 10 ingredients or less and easy to make. Happy cooking!


Temporary food assistance is available to eligible low-income individuals and families as well as assistance for other important health and human services for Michiganders. For more information, visit the link above or call 211.

This health and nutrition program is for eligible women who are pregnant or were recently pregnant, and children up to age 5 to get healthy foods, education, and referrals to other services. For more information, visit the link above or call 211.

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

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