Sprouts at the Market is the Market's FREE nutrition, farm linkage, and mealtime programming for kids ages 3-8. It takes place the first Saturday of each month from May through October from 9 to 11:30 a.m.
Got a "Sprout" in your life? Bringing them to the Market's monthly Sprouts events can encourage them to try new foods, help them learn more about where food comes from and who grows it, and why fresh fruits and vegetables are so good for us!
Each month brings new fruits and vegetables to the Market, and Sprouts gives participating kids the opportunity to give these locally-grown foods a try. There's always a theme, and there's always something yummy to eat! Sprouts also functions as a self-guided tour through the Market, with tables scattered throughout where participants can stop and learn.
Our nutrition programming is developed and coordinated with the help of Jennifer Hewitt, a local registered dietician.
We continue to work with our farmers as well as community organizations such as the Family Resiliency Center, The Great Pumpkin Patch, and the Eastern Illinois Foodbank to develop other parts of Sprouts Programming. To better teach kids where our food comes from, participating farmers wear Sprouts nametags - Sprouts (and their big people) are more than welcome to ask these farmers questions.
Every child that visits all the stations receives a Certificate of Participation and occasionally, we have special prizes. Art Mart Toys offers a 25% discount on their merchandise to kids presenting their Sprouts certificate on Sprouts Saturdays, too!
Dates and themes for the 2013 season include:
5/4: Farm to Table - As Fresh as it Gets! This event will focus on the people and steps involved in getting food to the table. Kids will go on a scavenger hunt giving them the opportunity to plant seeds, meet and learn about local farmers, and taste and prepare a snack along the way. Presented by the Family Resiliency Center.
6/1: What's On My Plate? This event will have special emphasis on nutrition, plus in-season produce sampling, and farmer/mealtime information.
7/6: Let's Eat Our Colors! This event will have a special emphasis on mealtime, with produce of all colors featured for kids to sample. Information about our farmers and their farms will also be available.
8/3: Some Say Tomato! This event will be all about tomatoes - how and when they grow, their many varieties, who grows them for our market, why they're good for you, and things you can make from tomatoes. Several different kinds (and colors) of tomatoes will be available for kids to sample.
9/7: From Dirt to Dessert...And Beyond! This event will feature guest educators from The Great Pumpkin Patch in Arthur - they'll come to Sprouts ready to teach kids about curcurbits: squashes, pumpkins, and gourds. Participants will learn about pumpkin seeds, Illinois soil (which is the richest in the world!), the A to Z of squash and even sample pumpkin cookies made with pumpkins grown at The Great Pumpkin Patch. Caregivers will receive nutritional information and squash preparation techniques sure to please the whole family. Small prizes and a certificate will be offered to children who complete the activities at all stations throughout the Market.
10/5: Composting for Kids
Many, many thanks go to our growers, local businesses, and partners who supported Sprouts in 2012. Sprouts is a success because they help us out. So - many thanks to: