Summer is a good time to start educating your kids about healthy eating, food production and the environment. Kids typically learn best through doing. The following are some activities you and your kids can do together to learn about making healthy food choices and how the foods we choose impact the environment.
Start an organic garden or grow tomatoes organically in a pot on the front porch. You don’t have to be a seasoned gardener or an expert to start teaching your kids about organic foods. Simply explaining to your kids what organic means may not stick as well as showing them. Starting a garden will give you and your kids a chance to learn about organic foods, why those foods better for the environment and why organic foods are better for their health. Have your kids draw pictures of the plants as they grow and the bugs they find in the garden. Harvest your crop and have your kid’s use the fruits and veggies they helped grow to make lunch. The more involved your kids are in the process from garden to plate the more they will learn.
Take a trip to the farmers market. The farmers market is a great place for kids to learn about food and the environment. Many farmers are more than happy to answer kid’s questions about food production. In addition to farmers; cooks and nutrition experts take part in farmers markets. Have your kids ask them questions about eating healthy and why it’s important. While you’re there you can pick up pamphlets on healthy eating and get recipes and advice from chiefs. Many times government and community programs, which focus on nutrition, will have tables set up with information and experts to talk with.
Get online! There are a number of sites dedicated to teaching kids about health, nutrition and cooking. If you want your kids to receive some online training before you take them into the kitchen to fix their first meal check out www.dressupgirl.net; you’ll find virtual cooking games complete with printable recipes. Another good site to check out is Spatulatta.com is full of cooking videos by kids for kids. You can start with the basic cooking techniques and move on to fancy cake decorating ideas.
Create a recipe book. Have your kids create a recipe book and fill it full of their favorite recipes. Have them write an introduction explaining why organic food is better for their health and the environment. Also have them write about why it’s important to them to eat healthy. Fill the book with their favorite recipes and pictures of their creations.
Learning about the environment and healthy eating through fun activities is the best way to teach kids to make healthy choices. The more fun your child has learning, the more willing they’ll be to eat healthy foods.