When it comes to healthy eating for kids, farmers markets build an important connection -- beyond the food.
School's out, summer's in and the farmers market is back! A stroll through the local market is one of our favorite family outings. Each week, as part of our 52 New Foods adventure, we head out to find something new to try. Juicy red strawberries this week, bright green okra the next -- what the kids pick is always a surprise (to me and to them).
The farmers market is a fantastic way to make healthy food fun. The riot of color, the bustle of people, and the gentle strumming of the guitar come together to create the feeling of a celebration. It's also an easy way to shift the focus from processed foods to fresh, whole foods. After the pizza-laden end of school year parties, it's time for a reset!
But more than the food, the farmers market is about community. Our focus at the market is about getting to know our local food friends -- the farmers who grow our food, the neighbors who shop there, and the new foods that the changing seasons bring. We talk with the farmers about what's growing in their fields, ask for advice on how to decipher whether our pick of the week is ripe (or not), and inquire about tips for how to prepare their bounty. This simple exchange begins to build a connection - the beginnings of a relationship -- that runs much deeper than the food we are buying.
So for the next few weeks, I'll be writing about what we've discovered through our community at the local market. First up... finding the perfect plumcot.
Why do you shop at the farmers market? Share your stories!
About the author: Jennifer Tyler Lee is a mom of two children, creator of Crunch a Color® -- award-winning nutrition games that make healthy eating fun, and author of the forthcoming book "The 52 New Foods Challenge" (Penguin / Avery 2014). Like most parents, she struggled to get her kids to eat healthy, balanced meals, so she decided to make it into a healthy eating game and she's giving back to support non-profit kids' nutrition programs. Winner of the Dr. Toy and Parent Tested, Parent Approved awards, Crunch a Color® has been featured by Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution, Rachael Ray's Yum-O!, Laurie David's Family Dinner, Kiwi Magazine, Dr. Greene, and Yum Food & Fun For Kids, among many others, as a simple, fun and playful way to get kids to eat healthy and try new foods. Jennifer's passion is making mealtime fun and healthy for busy families. Her easy recipes, quick tips, and new food adventures are regularly featured at Pottery Barn Kids, Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution, The Huffington Post, and on her weekly recipe blog at crunchacolor.com.