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Posts tagged ‘Greenmarkets’

UltimateMama created this equation: Farmers' Markets + Kids = Healthy Fun

UltimateMama knows that parents want what is best for their children and food is no
exception.  In these challenging economic times parents struggle to feed
their children healthy meals with fresh ingredients in a cost efficient

not all families can go directly to the farm, many are fortunate to have the
farm come to them.  Exploring Farmers'
Markets together as a family will support local farmers and serve as an
entertaining way to educate children about the health benefits of eating fresh

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Farmers’ Markets provide a quick and easy out of classroom lesson plan for
parents.  Parents can teach their
children about colors, textures, sizes, shapes, and tastes by walking around to
the various stands.  Your children will
learn to select items using all of their senses.  

UltimateMama believes that visiting
Farmers’ Markets is a wonderful way to get your food shopping done while teaching
your children the importance of buying locally. 
And once you return home, your children will be excited to make meals or
gift baskets with the fresh ingredients they selected.   

Below are a few suggestions or tips from UltimateMama to keep in mind while shopping at the
Farmers' Market:

– Start early – in terms of age and time.  Farmers’ Markets are fun for
people of all ages.  Even toddlers love
visiting Farmers' Markets to roam around the colorful food items and smell the
fresh flowers and herbs.  Plan ahead and
shop early.  If you arrive first thing in
the morning the selections are better and the crowds are minimal. 

– Shop with reusable bags.  Be good to
the environment by bringing your own reusable bags and avoiding plastic.  Use some of your old tote bags and have your
children decorate their own Farmers’ Markets bags as a simple craft idea.  Your children will have fun creating their
personalized bag that can be used time and time again.  Just make sure it is sturdy enough to handle
all of your goods. 

– Allow
your children to select fruits or vegetables that appeal to them.  If your
children are part of the selection and purchasing process they will be more
excited when it comes to preparing and eating the meal. Teach your children to
make smart choices for their bodies. 

– Encourage your children to be active participants.  Let them SHUCK THAT
CORN while they are outside at the Farmers' Market.  They will have fun
preparing the corn and your kitchen will remain unharmed in the process. 
Plus, you are one step closer to dinner.   

– Make shopping at the Farmers' Market a routine.  Teaching children to
eat well at an early age will hopefully lead to healthier eating habits when
they are older.  The more you visit the
Farmers’ Market, the more your children will feel like it is a part of their

– Visit the Farmers' Market throughout the
year.  Children will learn about the seasonal nature of foods and will
look forward to purchasing "in season" delights.  Create a Farmers' Market calendar with your
children.  After your visits have your children list the foods that they
saw on display and compare the lists with previous trips.  Children love
to make repeat trips to the Farmers' Market to sample seasonal

– Venture out.  Don't just stick to
food.  Many Farmers’ Markets also offer cheeses, breads, syrups,
honey, flowers, herbs and more.  Browse
the stands and show your children the many offerings available.  When you return home from your visits, create
Farmers’ Market placemats or bookmarks. 
Have your children cut out pictures of 
items they saw at the Farmers’ Market from your old magazines, glue them
onto both sides of a piece of colored construction paper, and cover with clear
contact paper.   

– Make friends with the farmers.  Sure children can hear about farming,
nutrition, buying locally, and the environment in a classroom
but encouraging children to talk directly to the farmers at the
various stands is more fun.  Farmers will
share details about their current crop as well as what to expect in upcoming

– Share your Farmers' Market finds with other family members or
friends.  Create seasonal baskets of the goodies you and your children
picked up at recent Farmer's Market trips.  Encourage your children to
give these baskets to others as holiday gifts or birthday
presents.  Make a card to attach to the basket detailing your
children's Farmers' Market experience and why they picked the contents to go
into the gift basket.  The recipient will love their thoughtful gift and
your child will be proud of their creation.

– Prepare
new recipes.  Your children will discover that the farmers or chefs
present at the market can provide many delicious recipes for the family.  Cook together as a family and turn your children
into mini culinary masters of fresh food. 
From simple salads and soups to more complex side dishes and
pies your children will have a terrific time learning to cook with fresh
ingredients.  Help your children create great tasting meals that are good
for your family and our planet. 

For Farmers' Markets in your area please check: