Food and nutrition is a priority in my family so I do my best to educate my kids about the food we put on our table. I use these discussions as a way to point them towards good food habits, and I do my best not to preach. I want them to eat whole foods, get nutrition and understand what it means to eat a balanced meal. They know we like to make burgers at home, made from organic grass fed beef, the milk we drink is either raw or grass fed and hormone free, and whenever possible, we like knowing the source of our food. (i.e., meat and eggs with no antibiotics)
Resources on nutrition
One of my favorite authors on the subject of food is Michael Pollan. A great book by him is, The Omnivores Dilemma and the other one I love, Food Rules. He shares great information that inspires us to understand how what we purchase at the grocery store affects farmers, corporations and ultimately us, the consumer. He also talks a lot about the statement we make without our pocketbook every time we check out at the grocery store. It’s more about quality versus quantity. Or if we choose to buy lots of processed foods made with high fructose corn syrup, there will continue to be lots of processed food choices like those in the store. When folks buy them less, corporations are forced to bend to the consumers will and make changes and offer healthier choices. I take my role seriously as a healthy shopper.
The best tools I’ve found to teach my kids about food is by taking them to the farmers market or seeing what they can grow in our own backyard. Both my husband and kids have worked together to plant, water and pick food from our small garden. Picking food from our garden inspires them to make salads and their own salad dressings. When we go to our local farmers market, my daughters meet the farmers and experience what fresh food tastes like. What I love is how my youngest daughter who really does not like fruit, other than apples she won’t eat it, actually loves fresh herbs. Both girls include fresh basil and cilantro in what I call their artisan sandwiches. I love watching my kids experience all of the fresh food at the farmers market and how they incorporate the ingredients into their own recipes.
We were recently invited to a friend’s house to pick carrots and nectarines right out of the ground and off the tree. Tasting the fresh fruit and vegetable after picking them right from the plant is an invaluable experience. I think these lessons are amazing for teaching children what food actually tastes like instead of buying into cravings for processed and chemical foods.
My hope is that everyone can have access to local resources such as a local farmers market to use as a tool for educating your children on the benefits of eating fresh healthy foods. I also hope that it will inspire your children to take a further interest in what goes in their own meals. I always love hearing how parents talk about food and nutrition with their children. Please share your ideas with me so I can continue encouraging healthy habits for my daughters. Post your comments to my Facebook page or contact me here!