Teaching kids where food comes from and engaging them in the process of growing and buying it is one of the best ways to put them on track for a lifetime of healthy food choices. Here are 5 fun and easy ways to make that happen:
- Grow Something
Planting a seed, nurturing it, and watching it grow is a time-honored way to teach kids where food comes from. Remember that lima bean sprouting in a paper cup you had as a kid? Build on that idea with the children on your life by planting some vegetables and herbs in your yard this spring, or keeping a pot or two on your window sill any time of year. Kids will not only learn some important science, they will be more likely to taste and enjoy food they took part in growing.
- Visit a Farm
What better way to understand how food is grown than to go to the source and head to a farm!? Many farms welcome visitors year-round and some have pick-your-own produce seasonally so you can experience harvesting first hand. It is an enjoyable way to spend a Saturday with the family!
- Talk to a Grower
One of the best things about going to a farm or a farmer’s market is that you get to know the people who grow your food. Farmers take great pride in the hard work they do and are usually happy talk about their growing practices and even share recipe ideas. Encourage children to ask them questions! Now you can do it on-line too.
- Map it
One activity that can help kids understand where their food comes from and how it makes its way to the supermarket is to map it. Locate the origin of a food on a map and calculate the miles it would have to travel to get to you. Then talk to your children about how the food might have been transported.
- Eat Seasonally
Sure you can get most fruits and vegetable any time of year nowadays, but produce tastes best when it is in peak season, and focusing on seasonal produce insures you get a variety of fruits and vegetable into your life, which means a healthy balance of nutrients as well. Besides, waiting for a fruit or vegetable to be in season creates anticipation and excitement around it. It makes you want to take full advantage and get it while the getting’s good!