The health of plants, soil, livestock, and our kids are interrelated. Working in an organic garden and kitchen gives our children a chance to get connected to what is alive on the planet around them. Organic foods are produced without the toxic chemicals commonly used on growing produce since the 1950’s. These toxic long lasting chemicals have harmed our environment and our health. These synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, and genetically engineered organisms and growth enhancers do not support a biologically diverse healthy soil. Instead of depleting the soil, organic farmers create and maintain a healthy soil by rotating crops to add nutrients and limit insect habitat. Plant waste compost kills pathogens and weed seeds and is a rich fertilizer for soil life and healthy crops. Organic farmers use natural predators to control pests that destroy their crops, use earthworms to aerate the soil, and have cover crops planted to enrich the soil.
You need less of quality food, organic whole grains, to feel full and be healthy. Fresh picked, organic produce is more colorful, smells better, has a better texture, and is tastier than frozen, canned, or conventional produce. Some veggies like cherry tomatoes or corn are delicious eaten fresh picked standing in the garden. Pointing children to the joys of growing and cooking their own food instills positive eating habits, leadership skills, and better attitudes. When kids pick, wash, and steam their own veggies, they can hardly wait to eat their own preparation. Local organic produce has more nutritional value, is tastier, and helps the environment.
Sweet, Sour, Salty, Spicy! Give your kids a taste test snack to excite their taste buds! Try a strawberry, a lime section, chips, and a stuffed jalapeno! Its a fun way to introduce new foods, bring awareness to different flavors, and do a science experiment with their tongue!
Pointing children to the joys of growing and cooking their own food instills positive eating habits, leadership skills, and better attitudes. Kids in cities have been alienated from nature and have no idea where their food comes from; they are afraid of bugs and getting dirty. Sixteen million American children, one in five, don’t have enough food to eat. By teaching kids to make healthy recipes from foods they grow, we can be a catalyst for change and aid in the solution of this worldwide problem. Students are uplifted by experiencing the wonders of the natural world by growing a school or home garden, from pots on the window sill to raised veggie beds. Working in the garden and in the kitchen gives our youth a chance to get connected to what is alive on the planet around them. Kids become enlightened about nature, earn the esteem of extended family and friends, and discover that cooking is fun and yummy.
7 Tips for Healthy Kids:
1. Before, during, and after cooking and eating, wash your hands with soap and water.
2. Drink eight glasses of water a day. Breathe fresh air and get great exercise working the in garden.
3. You are what you eat. Visit the Farmers Market. Choose local, in season, and organic fruits and vegetables! A healthy diet is easy.
4. Read the labels on food packages, checking the ingredients and the sell-by dates.
5. Eat the rainbow! Brightly colored fruits and veggies are the magic secret for all around health. Each vivid color is a different spectrum of photochemical and antioxidants.
6. Invite Laughter, Love, and Luck into the kitchen by thinking kind, grateful thoughts. How we experience food in our homes and environment, changes our bodies and the metabolic process.
7. Make meal time a family activity. Let everyone help in the kitchen, setting the table, or singing a song. Enjoy a nutritious meal with loved ones.
2 tbsp heavy cream 1 tbsp semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tbsp cream cheese 1 small mashed strawberry
1 tsp sugar 3 large (2-3”) strawberries
Use local, fresh, organic ingredients. For the filling, whip heavy cream in small bowl, whip in cream cheese, sugar and mashed strawberry. Stir in chocolate chips. Using a grapefruit spoon, remove the green strawberry tops. Using the spoon handle, carefully scrape the inside of the strawberry. Stuff the filling inside the strawberries and refrigerate ½ hour or until time to serve.