Sustainable food is a topic that is near and dear to my heart. Food fuels us, keeps us healthy, and even heals us. I believe in living off of food that lives and choosing sustainable options that also benefit the Earth. This very informative guest post is by Lauryn from The Vintage Mom. I hope you and your family benefit greatly from this post as we all learn to make more sustainable food choices.
As we begin to celebrate Earth Day, one of the most important things that we can teach our children is how to make responsible decisions when it comes to encouraging sustainability in our own food system. We need to impress upon our kids that how we eat and the choices we make when it comes to our Earth are ones that affect generations to come.
Each and every day, with each and every meal, thinking about sustainable food options, what we were eating, how it got to our plates, and how it fuels our body is important. Many concepts regarding sustainability can feel like they are geared toward adults but really, it is just in how you approach it. Teaching children early on about responsible, healthy choices is something that can (easily) be done.
Spring and summer offer a wonderful time to start talking. Heck, any time of year is great for all different reasons, but how can you resist the colors and flavors of spring and summer!
Below are some of my favorite ways to engage my children (all under the age of 7) in talking about healthy sustainable food choices.
Grow Your Own
One of the best things that we can teach our children is how to create their own food. Growing our own gardens and supplying some of our own food with our own land teaches not only a responsibility but also an appreciation for where our food comes from. Here you can see 13 Reasons Why Every Family Should Plant At Least One Seed. There are so many conversations that you can have with your children from talking about the different parts of plants to more in depth talks about composting and why it is important to recycle our waste. Not to mention the fact that kids are more likely to eat what they grow. 🙂
Pick Your Own
Find a farm, an orchard near your town. Take your kids, enjoy all that picking your own fruits and vegetables has to offer. Not only can they eat what they pick teaching them again about where their food comes from, but they can also preserve their food too. Get your kiddos involved in canning. Show them how you can extend the growing season making it all year long! Here are some tips for storing food from spring and summer! Oh, and have some fun too! Picking fruit and veggies can be such a wonderfully exciting time and canning them together just makes it that much better!
Meet your Farmer, Join a CSA or Visit a Farmer’s Market
Take your kids to the Farmer’s Market. Join a CSA. Either way, get them to the farm and let them tour around. Take them as much as you can. Show them the fields, the animals, the labor that goes into the food that you eat. Knowing your farmer is such an important concept and part of choosing sustainable food. It gives you insight into the principle that your food was raised on. Do they follow organic farming techniques? Integrated Pest Management? While you are out there, let your kids try some lettuce from the field, smell the herbs, maybe even try a cherry tomato (ask of course).
Pick Foods From Companies That You Can Trust and Support
In an ideal world, we would all eat straight from the plants and farms. BUT, in a world with kids and being on the go, grocery shopping comes in handy:) Each week something that I do is let my children choose a different product from the organic section. We have a local store that I have come to know and trust, a whole-foods store. The brands that they supply have already been checked out by them so it is a great way to let the kids explore! They find all kinds of new foods that we can then try to re-create at home!
It can be overwhelming to change everything all at once so pick a few things to concentrate on and talk about at a time. All changes are not only worth it but are taking steps to creating a better Earth!
Lauryn is the mom of three vivacious children and wife to one extremely vivacious husband! Lover of knitting, running (although mostly after little ones right now), the color orange, fun accessories, fall, tea, and a clean kitchen floor. She spends her days in awe of her family and trying to teach her three to treat others as they would want to be treated. Lauryn can be found blogging at The Vintage Mom.
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