From Our Team
Posted on March 18, 2022 by Jana Renner
Helping your children eat healthier is no easy task, but the Paso del Norte Health Foundation and Desert Spoon Food Hub are here to help.
As we celebrate National Nutrition Month, we must take early steps to help our children live healthier lifestyles. One way to do so is by introducing fruits and vegetables into their diets at an early age.
One of the best ways to set a child on the path to better eating habits is education. We must make learning fun to help keep kids interested in living healthier.
That is why the Paso del Norte Health Foundation funded the Taster Space program as part of Desert Spoon Food Hub.
“We know feeding kids is a complex task filled with questions: Are they getting enough? Why are mine so picky? Will they be okay?,” said Adriana Clowe, director of operations for Desert Spoon. “With this in mind, we created Taster Space, an immersive environment where a child can have repetitive exposure to fruits and vegetables through hands-on activities and family-friendly recipes … all in one little curated box.”
This program helps bring produce into your home in a fun and interactive way. The goal is to encourage kids to try something new or something they have decided they won’t like before having tasted it.
Research has shown children who begin eating fruits and vegetables at an early age tend to go on to live a healthy lifestyle as they grow older.
It is vital for parents to ensure their children eat healthier to prevent obesity, diabetes and other harmful health issues.
Most adults and children don’t eat the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables in their daily diets. This must change and the Taster Space program is a way to help children and adults to adopt new eating habits.
The program helps kids change their eating habits and encourages parents and other family members to join in on eating healthier.
The family environment is crucial because kids can’t go out and buy their own food. But also, parents are the biggest influence on what kids eat.
Taster Space is in its first-year pilot of the program and has had great feedback. To quote one parent, “So far, this has been amazing for my picky eaters, and they’ve tried so many more fruits and vegetables.”
The weekly Taster Space boxes come with pamphlets that give a short history of the week’s highlighted produce.
The boxes also contain instructions, supplies and materials for the recipes and crafts included in the Taster Space weekly pamphlet.
The child can record their observations and sensory experience and keep track of likes and dislikes, with the Explorer Log included in the box.
Desert Spoon champions a healthier and more food-secure Paso del Norte region by unlocking the region’s agricultural potential. The organization’s programming ensures all entities along the supply chain, from farmers to consumers, benefit from their food systems model. Later this year, the organization will launch the region’s first non-profit grocery store to help close the gap to healthy food in the Rio Grande District, located in central El Paso.
Fruits and vegetables may not be as enticing to children as candy. Still, the earlier we introduce them to our children, the more likely they will keep them in their eating habits and continue to live a healthier lifestyle as adults.
The development and implementation of Taster Space are made possible by support and funding from the Paso del Norte Health Foundation. The Health Foundation’s commitment to supporting innovative approaches to encourage healthier habits is an asset for our community and for Desert Spoon.
Jana Renner is senior program officer for the Paso del Norte Health Foundation and may be reached at email@example.com and 915-218-2616.
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