Summer Family Moments

8 Tips for Shopping at the Farmers' Market With Kids

Photo by Adriana Velez
Summer is here, and it's officially time to lure your kids to the farmers' market! One of the best ways to get kids interested in healthy food and willing to try new things is to let them pick out food themselves. And where else do you have so many healthy choices than the farmers' market?

Here are a few tips -- especially for those of you new to farmers' markets -- for making this excursion as fun as possible.

  • Talk with your kids about what makes the farmers' market special: It's all food straight from local farms sold by the farmers themselves. They get to meet the people who grow the food!
  • Set some ground rules about tasting (only if they're told they can) and sticking close to parents.  
  • Invite your kids to pick out three foods to buy. Bonus points for adventurous eaters: Limit picks to just fruits and vegetables.
  • Farmers' markets can be crowded, so if you bring a stroller, always be considerate of other shoppers and avoid blocking aisles. Try to help your kids be aware of the other shoppers around them, too.
  • If it's not too crowded, consider introducing your kids to farmers who sell food they're especially excited about. Encourage them to ask questions about how the food is grown and to touch and smell everything.
  • If you're worried about bringing home a lot of food you don't know how to cook, focus on buying just a few hand-held fruits and salad ingredients (raw = no cooking!).
  • Afterward ask your kids what they thought of the market. What smelled good? What smelled gross? What surprised them? What did they learn?
  • Invite your kids to help prepare the food they picked at the farmers' market.

Serious Eats has some great how-to tips for shopping at farmers' markets.

Do you bring your kids to the farmers' market?

cooking with kids, eco-friendly, food, grocery shopping, healthy choices, organics


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APeve... APeveteaux

These are great tips! I'm totally getting my daughter more involved next weekend at our farmer's market.

super... superflyinlove

I love our farmer's markets.  I haven't had a chance lately to stop by but thanks for the tips and article it's reminded that I need to do some shopping and that's a great starting spot.  Their veggies come out so much more cheaper then Walmart!

Lynette Lynette

it's fun to buy them their own bag of carrots or things of berries to munch while u shop or to eat on the way home

lovin... lovinangels

This article is really misleading. A lot of produce suppliers keep stands at local farm markets.  You can tell if- there produce has stickers. they  have products that don't grow in your area, the things they have out aren't in season where you live, or the grapes say "product of chile' 

We visit a local farm stand, complete with kittens and puppies. 

jeann... jeannesager

Lovin, our local farmers market has very strict rules about keeping out non-local produce. You might want to check the rules at a farmers market before using it.

Adria... AdrianaCooks

Thanks Jeannesager--same here. The New York City Greenmarkets have very strict rules about how far away the food sold at the markets can be grown and produced. In fact, they're even working on getting the breadmakers to start sourcing more and more of their ingredients locally.

Lovinangels, it's too bad that some folks out there take advantage of the trust people have in farmers' markets. Farm stands are a great option in that case.

Jesse... JessecaLynn

Our market also has strict rules that include the farms have to be inspected so that they know what is growing at the farm, so they can't bring anything that isn't grown on the farm. 

I love our market though.  It is so friendly, usually lol, always has something yummy.

jeann... jeannesager

A lot of farmers markets have websites with the rules on the site -- it's really for the growers who are applying, but as a consumer it's a great way to check on what they allow in and what they keep out.

lovin... lovinangels

In PA it's kind of a free for all. In Allentown they have a big "farmers" market, and eight of the stands are owned by the same produce supplier under different names. There are actually only three real farms there, and even they purchase out of state produce and sell it. I was so glad to move out to the "country" where I can get local honey and produce. And there is something really satisfying about handing your money direct to the person who worked so hard to earn it.

frysh... fryshannon34

Will sure try this!My 7 year old especially needs to start eating more veggies

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