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Family Matters: Try a Tomato!


Kids are just like the rest of us: they learn best in a hands-on atmosphere. So when you’re trying to instill a love of vegetables with your children, maybe the hands-on method will help!

Next time you’re at the store, pick up a variety of tiny tomatoes. Let your kids help pick them out, or just bring home a good selection. Grape and pear tomatoes (shaped just like they sound) are tiny bite-sized bursts of flavor. Cherry tomatoes are just a bit larger, but still small. From there, plum (or Roma) tomatoes are a big larger and egg-shaped. Slicing tomatoes are the full-sized ones.

So what do you do when you get all these tomatoes home? First, everyone washes their hands. Then help your kids identify the different types of  tomoatoes. Pear, grape and cherry tomatoes should be easy! Talk about the thin skin that is fragile yet strong enough to hold all the juice and seeds inside.

Then get a knife—plastic or metal, depending on your child’s abilities—and cut one in half from top to bottom. Notice the pretty patterns. Cut another in half from side to side. Wow, there’s a difference, isn’t there? Slice up several more tomatoes, put them in a bowl and sample them. Save the rest for a salad tonight. And you know what? There’s a good chance your children will actually eat some!


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