Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Farm Fresh!

Now more than ever kids are disconnected from their food and seem to think that food simply comes from the grocery store. Transforming the way children eat and perceive food is no small feat, but it is important for kids to understand where their food is coming from. For this to happen there needs to be a shift in perception - a new understanding of health in relation to our bodies, the food we eat, where it comes from, and our environment. This shift is not as hard to make as you may think. The following list includes some fun idea’s that can help educate your children on where their food comes from, and who knows; the whole family might learn something new on the way!

·         Go on a farm tour
·         Take your children to the farmers market
·         Go grocery shopping and let them pick out a vegetable they want to try (even if you don’t like it)
·         Let them help you prepare dinner

Farm Fresh Soup

One of my favorite memories as a child was when my grade one class went on a tour of a local farm. It was an old McDonald type of farm so it had a little bit of everything including crops, cows, chickens, pigs, and goats. At the end of the tour we all got to pick out a vegetable to take back to our class room. Once we got back to the class room we put all of our vegetables together along with some noodles and made a soup out of all our finds. This experience was so much fun and was a day that I will never forget. This experience would be easy to replicate at your own home and is a fun, fast, and easy way to get your kids involved.

Creating positive food experiences with your kids will help them develop healthy eating patterns.  Also, teaching your kids to cook will provide them with other skills that last a lifetime. For instance, learning to cook as a family will:

·          Increase your child’s self esteem. Being able to accomplishing a task and see it through the whole way will show them that they can make a difference and be independent.

·         Creates family bonding time. Taking time to cook with your kids will provide them with memories that they, in turn, can pass on to their families. It may take a longer time to get the meal or snack done but the moments with your children will be priceless.

·         Kids will be more apt to eat what they make. Perhaps, it is the enthusiasm of creating something themselves, but they will be more likely to eat whatever they had a hand in making.