Connecting Kids With Their Food

Green Tips With Suzanne Fielden and Julia O’Loughlin: Connecting Kids With Their Food

There are lots of fun ways to connect kids with food – Here are a few of our best ideas!

Growing Food with Kids

  • Pick your own strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and more at one of our many farms in Ladner, Richmond or the Fraser Valley. Visit www.pickyourown.org.
  • Grow your own food. It’s easy and a great way to get kids to appreciate the cycle of growing food. Snap peas, tomatoes, salad, herbs, potatoes, and strawberries can all be grown in pots or small spaces in your garden. Visit www.gardenwiseonline.ca for lots of useful tips. And pick up a free copy of West Coast Seeds magazine (from your closest garden center) for all the knowledge of what to plant when.
  • Take your family on a community garden tour in Vancouver. There are now over 40 official community gardens in Vancouver – local people having fun growing their own food. Visit www.vancouver.ca.
  • Visit UBC student run working farm to buy your fresh veggies, visit or enroll your child in one of their summer camps, Farm Wonders, ages 6 – 11 years. www.landfoodubc.ca.
  • Compost you greens and show your kids how to create “black gold” for your pots and garden. You can get into worm composting or old-fashioned composting. Visit www.cityfarmer.ca.

Food Shopping with Kids

  • Shop at your local farmers market and your kids can “meet their maker.” – www.eatlocal.ca.
  • Buy a local food box or join a CSA so your kids can get acquainted with the foods and thei seasons. Visit www.organicsathome.ca or www.cityfarmer.org
  • Play games while shopping – look for hidden MSG ingredients (autolyzed yeast and hydrolyzed proteins), high sugar content (45grams is the daily allowance), salt content (24,00 mg is the daily allowance) on packages, and transfat content.

Cooking and Eating with Kids

  • Enroll your kids in cooking classes to get them excited about food preparation and to expand their curiosity about flavours, flavour combinations and new foods. Imagine your kids cooking you dinner for a change!  Summer cooking camps with Julia are being held at Rocky Mountain Flatbread July 6, 7, 8 and August 3, 4, 5.
  • Create healthy baked goods with your kids at home. Switch refined grains to whole grains and simple sugars to complex, alternative sweeteners. Do blind taste tests to see which alternative sweeteners you like best. Try realmaple syrup, brown rice syrup or turbinado sugar.
  • Experiment with health snacks – you may be surprised by what your kids respond to. Hummus, artichoke dip and guacamole with veggie sticks or apple slices with pumpkin seed butter are some surprisingly kid friendly options.
  • Choice is key when it comes to involving your child in eating healthy foods. Offer your child their own cupboard or fridge drawer and fill it with parent-approved foods and snack that your child can choose from when hungry – raw nuts or trail mix, healthy granola bars, fruit, veggie sticks with dip, whole grain baked goods or crackers, seed or nut butters are all healthy, kid-friendly options.
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