This post is inspired by the Yahoo! Mother Board monthly blogging topic of how we teach our kids healthy eating habits. You can read other members' blog posts on this topic by visiting http://motherboard.yahoo.com/
As technically savvy a family as we are, it's been a priority for me that the kiddo grows up know how to live in the real physical world away from the technology experiences and devices.I basically subscribe to the everything in moderation philosophy and think healthy eating habits can be taught to kids through a variety of healthy lifestyle choices. (Plus, the fact that LI'l Boo abhors pop, so that I don't have to worry about him going overboard on empty soda calories, I have other things I can address and focus on with him. ;-)
My favorite farmer's markets were from my days on the SF peninsula when there were so many and they were so popular that they'd shut down streets to host weeknight farmer's markets and they'd take up two whole blocks mid-week!. wildflowers, freshly caught fish, rotisserie chickens, salad greens, honey, nuts, breads, veggies, cheeses, gourds - we could stop over and walk home with ingredients to throw together for dinner. I loved it.
Eventhough I grew up in rural Michigan, I didn't grow up on a farm - just surrounded by them. I took local farms for granted then, and it wasn't really until I lived in the Bay Area that I grew to miss driving by the U-Pick strawberry or cherry signs across the Midwest, or seeing roadside stands selling fresh corn on the cob, blueberries and peaches...and of course, the apple orchards offering bushels for apple picking, fresh apple cider and warm cider donuts.
I don't want Li'l Boo to miss out on that lifestyle and the opportunity to make a connection between himself, his seasonal surroundings and his food. The better informed he is, the better choices he can make, and the greater appreciation I hope he'll gain for whole and natural foods. So each summer I find myself searching out apple orchards and pumpkin patches and farms in our area accepting visitors or hosting family harvest days and celebrations.
I remember a few years ago we made a big deal out of visiting the Franklin Cider Mill on a visit to c2cDad's parents' home in Michigan. It was important to me that Li'l Boo see what's involved with pressing the apples to make cider. I wanted him to smell the smells, feel the sticky cider juice run down his chin and hand, watch the bees gracefully attack the fallen smashed apples or pumpkins and try to eat a caramel apple on a stick.
These seasonal traditions, sensory experiences and memories of connecting with food sources and enjoying the outdoors are what I hope to pass along in hopes for my son to develop an appreciation for the farming profession and make his own local, eco-friendly and healthy lifestyle choices.