How To Teach Kids Where Their Food Comes From

by Mary Sauer
As the mother of a toddler and a preschooler, I strive to make healthy eating an important part of our lives. Following the advice of Waldorf and Montessori experts, I've had success introducing new foods to my children by involving them in the shopping and cooking process whenever possible.
My oldest, now four, has a lot of questions about food. As someone who enjoys cooking, I am so excited to see her curiosity grow when we talk about new foods and cook together. Understanding where the food we eat comes from is an important part of making healthy eating choices and supporting our local economies.

Here's 5 Ways To Teach Your Own Kids About Food Sources:

Cook Together

One regular habit we have embraced in our home is involving our children in meal prep. I don’t do this everyday, especially if I am feeling short on time or impatient, but I do try to plan two or three meals a week I can easily prepare with the help of my kids. When we cook with our children, we naturally encourage conversation about the food we eat at dinner each night. This breaks down the illusion that food simply appears in our refrigerator and then magically makes it’s way to our supper table each night.

Visit The Farmer’s Market

Making a weekly trip to your local farmer’s market not only supports your local economy, it also introduces your children to locally-sourced food. A regular outing to the farmer’s market is the perfect way to spend a weekend morning as a family, and it introduces your kids to colorful fresh fruits and vegetables.

Also on Z Living: 10 Tips To Shop Smart At Your Local Farmers’ Market

Schedule A Tour of A Local Farm

Introduce your children the the ins-and-outs of farm life by scheduling a tour of a local farm. Many farmers have specific days set up for visits and will allow families to participate in activities like milking cows. 

Also on Z LIving: A Spotify Playlist To Groove To At The Farmer's Market

Pick Your Own Food At A 'U-Pick' Farm

When fruits and vegetables native to your area are in season, many orchards and farms have a "u-pick" option available to local families. Spending the day picking berries or apples with the family is a learning experience your children won’t soon forget.

Read Books About Food, Cooking, and Farming

Lately, our family has enjoyed seeking out children’s books that specifically cover topics we want to learn about. Before heading to the library, spend some time browsing online catalogues for books about food, cooking, and farming. One of our favorite books right is now is How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World, which features a young girl travelling the world to collect ingredients for her pie and an accompanying recipe at the end of the book.
Learning doesn’t have to be limited to time spent inside the walls of a school. Take advantage of the lessons that arise everyday to teach your children to appreciate the food they eat and the hands that work hard to grow and prepare it everyday.

Here's more ways to set your kids on a path of health and wellness from a young age: Watch On Z Living: Healthy Gourmet, where nutritionist Julie Daniluk and chef Ezra Title join forces and battle between taste and nutrition, helping home cooks create nutritious and tasty meals that can feed a crowd.

Tell us in the comments: What ways have you taught your own kids about their food sources?

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