It's often recommended that the best way to deal with kids who are picky eaters is to get them involved in the rituals of shopping for food, cooking, and eating.
Now that the growing season is upon us, what better way to get kids involved and excited about food than to go on a family outing to the local farmers' market...
MinnMoms.com offers several suggestions about how to turn a family trip to the farmers' market into an adventure. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Taste your way through the market: At the markets here in Chicago, you can taste everything from cheese and honey to fresh salsa and ripe peaches. This is a great opportunity to have the farmers and vendors tell kids about new foods.
- Challenge kids to find new and unusual foods: What's the strangest looking vegetable? Definitely kohlrabi or maybe celery root. How many orange items can you find? Probably, several. Kids might be more apt to eat something new if they've had a hand in locating it.
- Let your kids handle the money: Because most markets only take cash, this is a great place to help older kids learn about making change and the value of money.
- Buy a tasty treat: What's my favorite part of going to a farmers' market? The fresh fruit crepes and homemade scones I snack on when I'm finished shopping. Share a snack with your kids once they're finished helping with shopping.
Also, my farmers' market often offers activities targeted specificially to kids—music, story-telling, etc. See if your local market has any similar offerings. To locate farmers' markets in your area, visit Local Harvest.
Do you go to the farmer's market with your kids?