The farmers’ market is a great place to go to explore local food and spend time as a family. Here at ALLterNATIVElearning, we go to our farmer’s market every Saturday, year-round because it’s the best place to get the freshest food and because we have so much less trash and waste when buying from local sellers. Farmers’ Markets not only encourage a healthier lifestyle through their selection of food and the absence of major packaging, but they also are more environmentally friendly because food is not being transported hundreds of miles, using man hours, gasoline, and having to cross borders. All that being said, today Jen from Kitchen Counter Chronicles has an awesome post giving you tips on going to the farmers’ market with kids!
It is almost farmers’ market season where we live. The winter weather is, hopefully, behind us. Spring is in the air. With the spring weather comes the opening of our local farmers’ markets. Our family has come to really enjoy our weekly trip to the market. We try to visit different markets around our city every weekend. My daughters (aged 8 and 10) have become great little farmers’ market shoppers. Aside from being a fun outing for our family, a trip to the farmers’ market is a wonderful way to help children appreciate the food they eat. A large number of children have no idea where the produce in the grocery store actually comes from. Visiting the farmers’ market, meeting the farmers and seeing the variety of food available will truly open your child’s eyes to the importance of farms and farmers. I’ve put together a few tips for taking the kids to the farmers’ market and having an enjoyable experience.
Tips for Taking Kids to the Farmers’ Market
Do a little research ahead of time – Most markets have a website or a Facebook page. Do a little investigating and find out if the market offers special programming for children, a lot of markets do. Check and see if there is a bathroom on site and how easy it will be to get around with a stroller. A little pre-planning will help things run more smoothly.
Give Your Child a Basket – Children love pushing around the grocery cart in the grocery store and the same holds true for the farmers’ market. Let you child carry a basket and be responsible for carrying some of the produce you purchase.
A Little Change Goes a Long Way – Depending on how old your child is, let you child do a little shopping. Fill a change purse with change and let your child make a few selections. Children are more likely to eat the food they choose.
Play a Farmers’ Market Game – Looking to have a little fun at the farmers’ market? Try hunting for food that matches every colour of the rainbow. Or, search the market for things that start with every letter of the alphabet.
Chat with a Farmer – Put together a list with a couple of questions for the farmers. I love chatting with the farmers. I’ve learned a lot of gardening secrets. Have your child ask a question or two…how many vegetables do they grow, where is their farm, what is there favourite animal?
Make a Meal – Head home with your groceries and make a meal together. Using food from the farmers’ market is a fabulous way to get kids cooking in the kitchen. Use the food they selected, explore new foods…you might just discover a new favourite food.
Taking the kids to a farmers’ market is a wonderful way to spend a few hours on the weekend. If your kids have a hard time at the grocery store, maybe the farmers’ market will be more engaging for them. Be sure to pick a day when the weather is not too hot and not too cool. A rainy farmers’ market might not be ideal. Once you’ve been to the farmers’ market as a family you will be amazed at the connections your children make to their food and the environment. Creating connections are so important for young children.
In my “previous life” I was a mental health professional…in my current life I am a stay-at-home mom with 2 beautifully adventurous kids. I share everything that lands on my kitchen counter over on my blog, Kitchen Counter Chronicles. Swing by and learn how we are greening their lives; what we are crafting, cooking and reading. While you will often us inside the kitchen, you will also find us out and about getting our hands dirty, exploring and learning outdoors. You can also follow Kitchen Counter Chronicles on Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter.
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Kara is an author, wife, and mother of 3 children living in Boston, MA. She has her degree in Secondary Education & Adolescent Childhood Development and is passionate about connecting with and even helping other parents on their journey to raise awesome kids!