Encouraging children to choose healthy treats is an important way to kick off a lifetime of healthy eating habits. This is easy to do by working the fruits into a necklace kids can wear and snack from!
Before we get started, let’s look at the importance of fresh fruits in a child’s diet:
- Improved nutrition
- Decreased obesity risk
- Better school performance
Only 22 percent of toddlers and preschoolers and only 16 percent of kids ages 6 to 11 meet the government’s recommendation, according to Ohio State research. Juicy and delicious fruits are a recommended staple item for kids, with organizations such as the Mayo Clinic encouraging whole fruits over sugar-infused juices.
Let’s make healthy eating fun…
Bring on the fruits!
Select your fruits from your local farm stand, farmer’s market, grocery store, or garden. The fruits you choose can be based on your personal preferences; however, using berries that do not require cutting is easier to string into a bead-like necklace.
For this exercise, fresh strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries were used. These fruits required a simple washing, and stems were removed from the strawberries.
Gather your supplies
Here’s what you’ll need:
- A wide-eyed needle
Cut your desired cord to approximately 12 inches or a foot (depending on the desired length and the size of your child). An all-natural, 9.1 M bamboo cord was used here, but other options can be substituted.
You will need to select a needle that offers a wide enough eye for your selected cord. For this exercise, a 14 to 18-gauge darner needle was used. Thread your cord through the needle’s eye and make a knot as small as possible.
Making the necklace
Now that you have your fruits selected, you can separate them according to size. Place heavier fruits, like strawberries, toward the front of the necklace, with smaller fruits, like the berry assortment, along the sides.
Begin by piercing the fruits with the needle and cord attached, working your way to the center of the necklace and then back around. When you’ve filled up your entire cord and your necklace is complete, tie a knot at the opposite end to prevent the fruits from falling off the cord.
Enjoy your new creation – it has style and tastes delicious!