The importance of teaching kids about eating fresh and local

September 29, 2015

Let's face it, most kids these days are city kids. Being a city girl myself I'm not sure how old I was when I realized that food didn't magically appear at the supermarket but had to come from someone who actually grew it – or took it and turned it into something else (like cereal) and packaged it. As a mom I watched as my eldest daughter's mind was blown wide open the first time we read through The Little House on the Prairie series. I think my mind felt the same way. Ma and Pa had to work hard for every bite of that food!

potatofield web

Over the years I have taught my daughters how important it is to really look at the food in the grocery store to understand where it is coming from. We try to shop seasonally but I'm not going to lie: when you are buying food for a family of five and it is the middle of winter, I'm going to buy some fruit because I'm not going an entire winter without having fruit around to snack on. That would make for a long, sad winter. However, it can be done wisely. My daughters know that unless it is for an extra special treat, the chances of us buying a watermelon in the winter are pretty slim. The first fruit salad of the season in the Spring is usually met with cheers at our house.

Recently I took my family to Nanton to meet the growers at Paradise Hill farms. We eat a lot of tomatoes but seeing them growing and listening to how a good tomato is grown was an amazing experience for all of us. This is why I am so excited for the Co-op pop-up markets that will be happening all over the city this summer. I don't have the time to make it out to every farm I would like to so this is the next best thing in continuing my children's education about where their food comes from. I know my girls have been a lot more interested in tomatoes since they saw them growing and were actually able to pick some for themselves. Knowing that someone took the time to grow that food meant they were a little better about not wasting so much of it. Now if I could just convince the youngest that cereal for every meal is not a wise food choice. 

- Melanie Masterson

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