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Categories: Family Fun

We will dig a brand new plot in early spring, just a tiny one, for my little man. I am a firm believer in the fact that we need a connection to our food. It seems today many young people and even some adults really have no idea where their food comes from, or even what real food is.
I had a conversation with some of my young students at the dance studio recently about food...they were interested in something I was eating (they always want to know what Miss Kim is eating) and I told them what it was and mentioned that it was “real” food.  I then got asked what real food is? I began to explain and got interrupted by one of them asking if bear paws were real food...I hated to burst her bubble, but bear paws don’t really make it on the real food list. This made me realize what a disconnection our children have with the food they eat – they really have no idea where food comes from.

If you want to change this, it really is pretty easy to do so. A great place to start is the farmer’s market – full of real food and grown by local farmers, some of whom are at the market to talk to you about the food they grow. Another great option to help children connect with their food is to visit a farm. Farmers love sharing their knowledge, experience and enthusiasm with anyone who is interested. Get to know a few farmers close to your home, plan a day to visit, or maybe even help with some harvesting – how cool would that be!

And if you really want to help your child connect with their food, plan a backyard garden. It doesn’t have to be big, just a small plot. You can even plant vegetables right in with your flowers, if space is tight.  What a great summer project to take on together...planning, planting, caring for, harvesting, preparing and eating vegetables grown right in your own backyard.

There are many vegetables which are fun and easy to grow; here are a few you may want to consider: tomatoes, kale, squash, cucumbers, Swiss chard, green and yellow beans and pumpkins. And don’t forget herbs – parsley, rosemary, sage, basil, thyme, lemon balm or dill all add fun to the garden and lots of flavour to food.

By the way, children who play a role in growing, preparing and cooking their food tend to eat it too! Bonus!

Here’s to a summer of great gardening and delicious food grown close to home.

Article by:

Kim Corrigan-Oliver CNP, ROHP
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