These days so much of our food comes in a pouch/box/can from the store shelf it’s no wonder some kids don’t recognize basic fruits and veggies in their unprocessed form. It’s important to me that our kids know where their food comes from and how it’s produced. Living in a city it does take some deliberate effort to help make those connections. Here are the ways we try to give a well-rounded view of the food that is served on our table:
· Shopping at farmers' markets. Ideally, we like the meet the people who grow our food and make small talk about how crops are looking this season - but even a walk through the produce section at the grocery store or getting a CSA box can spur some conversations about seasonality and new fruits and veggies to try together.
· Cooking together. Seeing the whole process from raw ingredients to a delicious meal helps demystify food. It also gets kids invested in the meal and much more likely to try new foods.
· Visiting farms. From pumpkin/berry picking to seeing goats and cows - visiting farms (or even a neighbor with a chicken coop) helps make the connection from farm to table.
· Growing some edibles in a container garden. Our second floor apartment doesn't allow me to have my dream raised beds that grow a good chunk of our food - but we do always have some pots in the window with herbs or berries along with some tomatoes on the balcony in the summer.
· Making convenience items from scratch. We still buy jars of jam and cartons of ice-cream from the store - but we try to make these things on our own from time to time as well. Whether it's cultivating some yogurt in the crock-pot or baking a loaf of bread - I want our family to think, "I can make that!" when it comes to most of our grocery list.
How do you teach your kids about where their food comes from?