Benefits of a Family Visit to the Farmers Market
- Fresh Healthy Food: Health-wise, you do your family a real service when you visit a farmer's market. Most food found at the farmers market is minimally processed, and many of our farmers go to great lengths to grow the most nutritious produce possible by using sustainable techniques, picking produce right before the market, and growing heirloom varieties.
- Together Time: A trip to a farmers market is a great way to spend time with the family. You can take care of your grocery shopping while entertaining your kids. Use the different foods to teach little kids about colors or shapes. With older kids try a scavenger hunt and offer a family prize if the goal is hit.
- Talk With Real Farmers: Many Americans have no idea where their food comes from or how it was raised. When you visit a farmers market encourage your kids exercise their natural curiosity and talk to a real farmer. Think about it: plant seeds in dirt, add water, get vegetables! Of course there’s a lot more to it than that, but its pretty cool to learn about growing things and your child will get a better understanding of where our food comes from while making friends with a farmer.
- Introduce New Foods: Face it, some kids are just picky eaters. But meeting the farmer who grew the food you buy may lead to an interest in trying a new food. Openness to trying new foods is directly associated with a healthier diet.
- Develop Shopping Skills: Depending on your child’s age, you can give your child a few dollars and encourage them to buy a food they are curious about. This in itself is a great learning experience. Will they think long and hard about what to buy? Or will they buy the first thing they see? Learning to shop wisely and consider all the options is a great skill to have.
- Get Kids Cooking: Once your kids pick out a food(s) to bring home, bring them into the kitchen to cook it. Basic cooking skills increase food choices for them later in life while reducing the need to buy ready-made, highly processed meals. Check out our Smart Start with HealthStart Blog with our weekly Meal Prep Monday recipes. The recipes can serve as a guide for the veggies, fruit and other items to buy on your next Farmers Market excursion.
- Teach The Importance Of Community: Beyond buying healthy, fresh, local food, farmers markets provide an opportunity to connect with others in your community. Buying directly from the person who grows our food, supports local farmers and keeps your money at home where it can be reinvested for the good of your community.
Join us at the Texas Farmers Markets at Lakeline Farmers Market on Saturdays March 24, April 14, and May 19 from 10 am to 12 pm and Mueller Farmers Market on Sundays March 25, April 15, and May 20 from 11 am to 1 pm.
Want to help? Contact HealthStart's Outreach Coordinator, Erin Damm, for more information.