Aug 4th 2022
Ensuring your kids receive proper food education sets them up to make healthy eating choices throughout their lives. But while schools excel in teaching English, math, and science, nutrition isn’t a topic that gets as much attention as it deserves. That means the task falls to you.
An excellent place to start with food education is teaching your kids about farming and agriculture. By engaging them with where their food comes from, your kids become more conscious about which foods are or aren’t good for them. It also gives them a respect for cruelty-free animal farming and sustainable food practices that lead to a better environment.
To help you give your kids the best possible food education, here are five fun ways to teach them about farming and agriculture.
1) Visit a local farm
There’s no better place to learn about farming than, well, a farm. By visiting one in person, your kids can see where food production begins, which helps them develop an understanding of the entire food supply chain.
A lot of modern farms and ranches – particularly small, family-owned ones – supplement their income by offering agritourism activities. As well as being a fun day out for the family, this lets your kids get involved in authentic farm work like feeding animals and picking crops. They can even speak to the farmers in person to find out more about agriculture.
If you’re not able to take your kids yourself, ask their school to set up an educational visit for the whole class. School groups can often arrange a personal tour of the farm, as well as other learning activities that your children can enjoy with their friends.
2) Shop at a farmers market
Rather than buy plastic-wrapped, heavily processed groceries at the supermarket, take your kids to a farmers market to buy real fresh food instead. You can deepen the experience by writing a grocery list together and getting them to help you find the items you need. They can try free samples of fruit, vegetables, and meat as you go, and anything you buy can be cooked and shared at home.
As of 2022, there are around 8,600 farmers markets currently registered in the USDA National Farmers Market Directory. So it should be simple to find your nearest one. Many farmers markets also host free or cheap activities for children to encourage them to learn about farming and agriculture.
Another great option is to sign your kids up to the Power of Produce (POP) Club. The club is open for 5-12 year olds and gives them $2 worth of wooden tokens to spend on fresh produce whenever they visit a farmers market. As well as saving you a couple of bucks, it allows kids to become an active part of the market trade. Their ownership of the foods they choose also makes them far more likely to eat and enjoy them.
3) Grow your own vegetables
Buying groceries at a farmers market is a great way to expose your kids to a wide range of fresh and healthy food. But growing your own vegetables involves them in the entire agricultural process, from planting the first seeds all the way to harvesting their crops.
Don’t have a yard? No problem. Just place a small indoor vegetable box on a sunny windowsill and you can easily grow carrots, peppers, onions, tomatoes, herbs, and more. Encourage your kids to take responsibility for watering and caring for the vegetables themselves, and let them experience the magic of farming in miniature.
When your vegetables are ready for picking, use them in your home cooking to create a delicious meal for the whole family. Which brings us to…
4) Cook meals as a family
At the end of the day, farming and agriculture are about putting good food on the table. And while teaching your kids where fruits, vegetables, and meat come from opens their eyes to food production, cooking meals as a family turns it into a valuable life skill.
Get your hands on a kid-friendly cookbook, and let your children choose the meals they want to make. Then, use the food you grow at home or buy at the farmers market to create delicious dinners. If you’re not a confident home cook yourself, this is also a great way to get back to basics and develop your own culinary talents.
5) Don’t forget about books, videos, and games
Nobody has the time to visit farms and farmers markets every week, and indoor vegetables take a while to grow. But that doesn’t mean your kids should have to forget about food education in the meantime.
There are plenty of books, YouTube channels, and smartphone gaming apps that help children develop an interest in farming and agriculture. That means they can continue learning about good food even when they’re just looking for a bit of entertainment. Join your kids as they read, watch, and play so that they can copy your interest, and encourage them to ask questions about what they see. (And if you don’t know the answer, just ask Google.)
Dress for the occasion with KEY Apparel
While teaching kids about farming and agriculture is an important part of understanding good food, it can get a little messy. So when your kids head out for a day at the farm or at home with vegetable gardening, make sure their clothes are up to the task.
At KEY Apparel, we provide durable kids’ bib overalls that withstand even the most energetic outdoor play. All our overalls are soft and comfortable, and we even offer insulated overalls to keep your kids warm in colder weather. That means they can tackle plenty of new farming and agricultural experiences, and you don’t need to worry about replacing dirty or damaged clothes.
Check out our range of infant, toddler, kid’s, and youth overalls online today.