I am passionate about food… good food that tastes great and is good for the body. I want the same for my beautiful girls. They are too young to truly appreciate good quality food but their curiosity is definitely in my favor. When it comes to teaching my girls where their food comes from I look beyond the grocery store. Knowledge is key to helping kids learn relationship between healthy food and good health.
Food related diseases such as heart disease are the number one cause of death. Even more alarming is overweight, obesity,and diabetes are increasing amongst children. These diseases are preventable. A common barrier seen is the lack of knowledge. According to Jamie Oliver’s TED talk most kids do not know where their food comes from or understand the connection between healthy food and health.
Here are three ways to teach kids where their food comes from:
Making a regular visits to the farmer’s markets is a great opportunity to teach kids where their food comes from. Encourage kids to talk to farmers and learn how their food is grown. The farmer’s market is a great opportunity for kids to sample fresh food. Give your kids some money and encourage them to pick out a new food, talk to the farmers, and purchase the food from the farmer. Go to the farmer’s market early to help your kids get more one on one time with the farmers before the crowds arrive.
Plant a Garden
Another great way to teach kids where their food comes from is to plant a garden. Its doesn’t have to be big, some pants like tomatoes, cucumbers, and herbs grow well in pots. Most kids love to help and enjoy playing with the dirt. This year we planted our first real garden, I let Miss E pick out some seeds, plant them, and water them. The excitement on her face when the carrots started to appear from the ground was priceless. I fondly remember the first time we grew tomato plants on our patio, Miss E ate them like they were candy.
Become a CSA member
Join a community supported agriculture program and enjoy fresh, seasonal food on a weekly basis. CSA is a program is mutual commitment between consumers and farmers. As a consumer, you purchase shares in the beginning of the growing season to help with the costs in exchange the farmers share their food produce. CSA is another great way to help kids learn where their food comes from, meet the farmers, and try new foods. I really like the philosophy behind sole food farms, members receive weekly updates about the produce, host member events such as potluck dinners, and provide volunteer opportunities.
How do you teach your kids about food and where it comes from?