Smile Politely

Urbana’s Market at the Square offering kids’ programming this Saturday

From the press release:

The City of Urbana’s Market at the Square invites Market patrons and their kids to Sprouts at the Market, the Market’s free monthly nutrition, farm linkage, and mealtime habits programming geared toward children ages 3-8. August’s event, a scavenger hunt-style workshop with an emphasis on the many guises of the tomato, will take place on Saturday, August 3. Each participant and their caregiver will receive nutritional information while sampling local foods corresponding to this information. 

Sprouts at the Market is programming intended to educate young children – and their caregivers – about eating seasonally and healthfully in Illinois throughout the Market season. In addition to meeting local farmers and receiving nutritional information at events, each child will have a chance to sample some of the fruits, vegetables, cheese, honey, and other farm products available at the Market. Events in June, July, and August will focus on summer and fall produce, while September’s event will be held in partnership with the Great Pumpkin Patch of Arthur, IL.  The October event will focus on composting for kids. All participants will receive a certificate of participation.

Jennifer Hewitt and Ginger Reeser, registered dieticians and graduates of the Food Science and Human Nutrition program in the College of ACES at the University of Illinois, coordinate the Sprouts project for Urbana’s Market at the Square.  “Instilling healthy eating habits at an early age is really important,” Hewitt says. “Sprouts events at the Market are a really good resource for letting kids try new things and to get them excited about healthy eating.”

“This event is a great hit with kids and caregivers,” says Market Director Natalie Kenny Marquez. “The goal of the Sprouts program is to demonstrate to kids that fresh fruits, vegetables, and other farm produce are grown right here in Illinois, but we also want to send the message that these fresh fruits and vegetables are good for them. The basic idea is to get kids thinking more about their food and where it comes from, to discover that healthy tastes great, and to consider different mealtime habits as part of what eating is all about.”

The August 3 session goes continuously from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and is geared toward children ages 3-8 years of age. If it is raining heavily at 8 a.m., the event will be canceled.  This information will be posted on the Market at the Square Facebook and Twitter pages.  The next Sprouts date is scheduled for September 7th. All events are free.

For more information, contact Natalie Kenny Marquez, Director of Urbana’s Market at the Square, at 217/384-2319, or

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