At our house we have two food gardens. One is out the front, in containers and off limits to toddlers. The other is out the back in crap soil and I have given up on keeping her out of it. Partly because I have learnt to pick my battles and keeping toddler away from pretty growing things truly is an unwinable war. And partly because I want her to learn about food from as early an age as possible.
Now I’m not talking about Masterchef Junior, she has a passion for food, my 8 year old can bake a soufflé, stage mum BS. I’m talking about having an open dialogue about where our food comes from.
So we have started talking about food. And yesterday
we stood outside, holding hands, watering the garden and talking. Well, I talked and she excitedly babbled along on ocassion saying “mmmmm yummm” and rubbing her belly. As I watered the plants we I told her that these are brussel sprouts, carrots, lettuce, cucumber, watermelon etc and I chatted about the corn, spinach, and sweet potato that we’ll plant in their places next season.
At almost 2 she is too young to really get much of what I’m talking about other then food yummy but when will she start ‘getting it?’ I have no idea. So with that in mind, I treat every day as the day she might click so we keep talking.
I want my children to understand that food comes from a plant, a tree, a vine, an animal instead of from a shop or a packet. It’s important to me that they value what lands on their plate as more then just something to fill a hole.
I’m hoping that as DD gets older she may become interested in the garden and she may have some plants of her own to tend to, maybe some cherry tomatoes and snow peas. But we’ll see. Let’s garden through the wet season first.
Home grown food is organic as it’s gets because I as the backyard farmer have complete control over the way in which they’re grown. Eating at least some organics is important to me. At least avoiding the dirty 15 in the supermarket and eating seasonally. I don’t believe we are meant to eat the same foods all year round.
Here are 10 good reasons to eat organic.. Although I think the better taste is reason in itself.
Don’t ever forget that as the consumer you hold the power. Even if you do shop at Woolworths or Coles, every single time an item goes across the scanner it’s a vote. You tell the supermarkets what you want on the shelves. If you buy foods without additives and organic where possible you are telling the big companies that this is what you want. The supermarkets are watching, they are bringing out their own ranges of organic products (flour, sugar, jam, nut mixes, fresh produce) to keep up with the booming organic market. It is still important to buy independent where possible because if we always buy homebrand then it pushes the independents out of the market and once Coles or Woolworths have the whole share of the pie there will be no competition and they’ll be able to charge what ever they see fit.
So as parents and consumers we need to talk about food with our children, where did the apple come from, where is the milk from, where are the eggs and the cheese from. Make it a part of the daily discussion we have as a family.
Make meals a family affair, break bread together and catch up on the activities of the busy day just gone.
And vote with your shopping trolley, send a message to the big supermarkets that we want a better healthier future for our children. What we eat today is what we build and repair our bodies with tomorrow.