The Farmer’s Market has always been one of my favorite places. Maybe it’s because I come from a family of farmers, but there’s something special about the chance to admire the hard work and talk to growers in person. In fact, a trip to the Farmer’s Market was pretty much the only thing that got me out of bed early on Saturday mornings before I had kids! That’s true love, right?
I tried my hand at growing my own vegetables this year and let’s just say that unlike the growers in my family, I still very much need to frequent the Market. In hopes that my boys will share my passion for all things fresh, I bring them along with me from time to time. My goal is to expose them to new fruits and vegetables through touch and taste so that they can actually see the process of how food gets from a market onto our dinner plates.
They love eating, so the promise of breakfast gets them motivated for our morning adventure. Strolling through the booths, the produce is right at their eye level. It is not unusual for curiosity to get the best of my toddler and he “has to try” something. When it is his idea, he’s much more likely to enjoy so we both win!
Tips For Including Your Kids At The Farmer’s Market
As you’re browsing, encourage your kids to interact with the vendors and examine the goods. Comment on the texture and the color of the crops and have them gently feel it and use their own words to describe what they think. Toddlers have a way of phrasing things that never gets old. Be sure to ask questions to determine the best pick and if they offer, definitely have a sample.
I love for my boys to spend time with me in the kitchen, so I read a lot about involving them in meal planning or prepping. In putting some of this advice to work, I have discovered that in our house if a kid wants to taste something, I let him do it. If he wants to dump a tablespoon of salt on his eggs (yuck!) or tries to eat raw zucchini, he can try it. If it is his idea, he usually follows through with it. What is really important to me is that he develops a curiosity about food and the way it tastes. This has been such a fun journey to watch!
This originally appeared on TulsaKids.com. To read the rest of my tips, click here!