A farmers market is an excellent outing to share with the family. Living in Albuquerque, we’re lucky—wherever in the city you are, you aren’t far from a farming community. That means our farmers markets are full of locally-grown produce and other foods. And you just may find your inner child coming out when you see those perfectly sun-ripened, juicy raspberries you’ve been waiting for all summer!
Introducing Kids to the Farmers Market
The farmers market provides the perfect opportunity to teach your kids how food is grown, about the food supply chain, and about the joys of eating seasonal, freshly-harvested food! Here are five ideas to help you introduce the farmers market to your little one (or ones!):
1. Encourage them to Talk to the Growers
Let your kids talk to the growers and farmers at the market. They are a wealth of knowledge and most are more than happy to answer questions! Plus, they know all about growing and harvesting vegetables, raising animals, and everything you can do with the produce they’re offering.
2. Let them Sample
The fruits and vegetables grown at the farmers market may have a different taste than those you find in stores. If you ask, many growers offer samples of what they’re selling! Letting your children have a sample gives them the chance to taste a new fruit, vegetable, or food they may not have tasted before. Which leads to…
3. Try Something New
The Albuquerque farmers and growers markets offer a plethora of fruits and vegetables, especially now during peak growing season! Every week you’ll find something new: a different type of vegetable, an unusual melon, a new texture or leafy green, a duck egg, an exciting cheese, or a unique type of food.
It’s exciting to try so many new foods and flavors! Even if your kids don’t end up liking a food, experimenting will help expand their palette and may even help them enjoy healthier foods!
4. Give them the Lead
Give your children the chance to explore the farmers and growers markets. Let them take the lead on the booths they want to visit and the produce and foods they want to buy. You may be surprised by how adventurous they can become!
5. Menu Plan Together
One of the most exciting parts of going to the farmers or growers market is the chance to shop for your meals. Before you go, meal plan with your kids and create a shopping list. Or you can plan on the fly based on what you find! Kids can be creative when it comes to meals. Choosing and cooking the food helps them feel involved and have fun with the entire process. Kids are also more likely to eat the food they choose and help prepare—even vegetables!