But how do we engage people when it comes to fruits and vegetables? Here are my three top tips:
1. Tell them what's in it for THEM!
People often get so focused in the WHAT of healthy eating that they forget the WHY. What's in it for them NOW? For adults motivation is often found in looking and feeling good. Having energy at the end of a busy work day. Playing social sport. Energy to play with kids and grand kids. For kids it's usually about running faster, jumping higher, becoming a better reader or faster at times tables.
2. Get them INVOLVED!
Don't just tell them. Do it with them! Interactive cooking classes at your workplace, hands-on cooking incursions in schools and cook with your kids at home! Create a work or school ABC recipe book and ask people to contribute (A is for apple, asparagus...). Set up veggie gardens at schools and your home. Plan healthy fundraising at schools and get the kids to write the marketing material. Take your kids to the fruit shop and let them choose by looking, touching and feeling fresh seasonal produce. In workplaces, set up DIY breakfast stations or smoothie bikes. Anything and everything to get people to do and interact, rather than just watch. For workplaces, free food also helps :)
Get people involved in the planning of healthy events. Ask your staff what they are interested in. Involve parents in creating a nutrition policy at your school. At home, involve your kids in choosing what veggies should go in the salad.
3. FUN! Make it FUN!
Never preach or plead nutrition. Make messages and healthy programs FUN! People learn more when they are having FUN! Ask yourself, did the participants enjoy themselves? Create a fun and funky staff room for staff. Find fun nutrition games to play with your students. Create relaxing and fun mealtimes.