Farmer's Market

Farmers Markets Offer a Bounty of Learning Opportunities

Going to farmers markets on a regular basis puts fresh, seasonal produce at kids’ eye level. They start to notice that foods vary week by week and learn what’s in season. This offers an opportunity to discuss why they won’t see a watermelon in January, and helps create family traditions like making peach pie in July.

farmer's market
Farmers markets introduce kids to healthy new foods and support local farmers. Instead of just taking kids along for the ride with electronics in hand, turn a visit to the farmers market into an educational field trip. This community experience helps children learn where food comes from, reinforces important social skills and offers fun math practice. Here are more ways to inspire learning.

1. Eat a Rainbow
Look for fruits and veggies in all the colors of the rainbow and try buying one of each color. This can be a lesson (and a good reminder to parents) about the importance of eating fresh, unprocessed foods. Eating each color of the rainbow provides different (and much-needed) vitamins and antioxidants to keep bodies and minds healthy and strong.

2. To Market to Market
Let your child be in charge of a small purchase. Being responsible to hold the money and choose an item to buy will help build confidence and decision-making skills. It’s also an opportunity for kids to use the scale, estimate total cost, and count the money and change.

3. Practice Communication
I’ve taught my kids to say please and thank you, but in this age of overabundant screen time, an essential missing skill for many kids is everyday conversation with adults. The farmers market gives them practice using eye contact, projecting their voices and asking meaningful questions. Asking a farmer questions such as “Why are these carrots purple?” helps kids feel a connection to those who grow the food and helps them gain understanding of where it comes from. Bonus: Teaching kids to ask questions that begin with “How” or “Why” encourages them to use analytical and evaluative skills.

4. One Potato, Two Potato
The littlest market-goers can take part in learning fun with counting practice. As they put pieces of fruit on the scale or in the bag, have them count each one aloud.

5. I Do Like Green Eggs and Ham!
Tech-savvy kids can use online resources to research what’s in season and find seasonal recipes that the family will enjoy. Meal planning and cooking provides buy-in when it’s time to eat dinner, especially when trying new foods. Don’t pass up free samples when shopping at the farmers market. They’re a great test to see if your family might like something new. Cooking together introduces key math concepts like measuring and fractions—and it’s just plain fun.

6. It’s Easy Being Green
Explain to your children how shopping at local farmers markets benefits the environment. Buying local means less gas to transport items for faraway places. Organic produce means no pesticides harmed the air or water to grow the crop. Dollars spent here contribute to the farmers' livelihood and build a sense of community. Find a full list of San Diego County farmers markets at www.sdfarmbureau.org/BuyLocal/Farmers-Markets.php.

Cherie Gough is a freelance writer and former teacher who grew up on a local chicken ranch.

 

Published June 2017

 

 

How to Find the Right Preschool

Choosing the right preschool is an important decision for parents. For some, it will be the first time a stranger will watch and care for their child. Here are tips to help make the right decision.C . . .

Read more

5 Tips for SAT Success

Mastering the SAT can have tremendous impact on a student’s life, but it comes at a cost. Preparing for the SAT can be a stressful process for teens (because the stakes are high) and for parents ( . . .

Read more

5 Back-to-School Tips for Divorced Parents

Transitions from grade to grade can be challenging. Adding the stress of divorce—especially for newly divorced parents—can make a new school year even more nerve-racking for the entire family. C . . .

Read more

Farmers Markets Offer a Bounty of Learning Opportunities

Farmers Markets Offer a Bounty of Learning Opportunities

Going to farmers markets on a regular basis puts fresh, seasonal produce at kids’ eye level. They start to notice that foods vary week by week and learn what’s in season. This offers an opportunit . . .

Read more

The Preschool Years: The ideal time to introduce a second language

Studies show that when children learn a second language, there is a boost to cognitive growth, creativity and critical thinking skills. Bilingual children also tend to be more empathetic and open-mind . . .

Read more

Safety Tips for Children Who Walk to School

Is your child ready to walk to school? Ask yourself the questions below before deciding. These safety guidelines and tips will help ensure a safe walk to school.Walking to school is a healthy alternat . . .

Read more

How to Find the Perfect Preschool

Looking for a preschool program for your child? Help ensure a positive preschool experience with this list of tips, highlighting what to look for in a preschool and questions to ask.   The Benefi . . .

Read more

Teacher Gifts that Could Land You on the Naughty List

(and what teachers REALLY want)We asked local teachers what the best gifts for teachers are—and in the process, also discovered which are worth reconsideration. All contributing teachers expressed n . . .

Read more

San Diego Family Magazine Logo

Be Family Informed – Sign up for our Newsletters below!