Organic Food for Little Fingers
All parents are concerned about the health and wellbeing of their family. Children are more vulnerable to exposure to pesticides and herbicides, their bodies absorb toxins more readily than adults do, and their organs are less efficient. Choosing to feed your family organic food reduces your risk of exposure to pesticides, GMOs, antibiotics, and hormones, and promotes the development of long-lasting, good eating habits. Organic dairy products and other organic fruits and vegetables provide more nutrients and vitamins, helping your bones and body stay strong. Check out the many reasons to choose organic.
We all know how picky kids can be, so it’s important to incorporate fun and unique ideas and foods into your cooking. One of the best ways to get your child involved in the kitchen is to let them pick out their favorite fruits and vegetables at the market, and ask for their help in the meal preparation. Working together in the kitchen fosters positive relationships and encourages an enthusiasm and appreciation of food.
Make Eating Organic More Fun!
Children need a lot of nutrients and energy to make it through the school day and afterschool sports.
- Pack snacks that are fun (and easy!) to eat and will keep them going all day, like apple slices and peanut butter or veggie sticks and hummus.
- Buy bulk organic goods to reduce your costs and simplify your meal planning. It's pretty simple to whip up a batch of homemade granola bars from bulk bin goods!
- Try including a meatless meal in your meal rotation, which will force you to incorporate new foods and perhaps more fruits and vegetables.
- Avoid artificial sweeteners and dyes in your processed snacks by purchasing organic options. Our "Understanding Organic Labels" flyer is a cheat sheet for deciphering organic claims.
Teach Your Child to Garden Organically
Bring your children into the garden to inspire them and teach them about where their food comes from. Ask your son or daughter to help choose seeds from your organic seed catalog, then help them start and grow the seeds they chose. Together, you can learn about what it means to produce your own food. Plus, many good memories and habits can be formed by learning how food is grown.
Find organic seeds by searching “seed” in our online directory. Getting potting soils and amendments that are approved for organic growing is easy! Simply call or visit your local garden center and request potting soil and mixes that have been "approved for organic production." Inputs like potting soils and fertilizers cannot be certified organic, so finding products "approved" for organic is your best bet.
If you are looking for a fun food-related adventure for your family, visit one of our certified members’ farm stands or U-Picks. The whole family will learn more about how organic food is grown, enjoy the harvest season, and bring the bounty back to your home kitchen. Gardening makes kids more attentive and forces them to be responsible for a living thing, allowing them to actually see and eat the fruits of their labor. Find U-Picks and farm stands in our online directory.
Garden educators and writers Whitney Cohen and John Fisher of the Life Lab program have written a great book on gardening with kids, The Book of Gardening Projects for Kids: 101 Ways to Get Kids Outside, Dirty, and Having Fun. Find it on Amazon.
Organic Resources for Teachers
Life Lab is a wonderful organization that produces a number of resources for educators and school garden projects, as well as lists and links for teachers and parents. Curriculum & Activity guides are also available.
We love that they sell helpful informational signs (as PDFs) to put around school gardens!
Plus, workshops for educators are available nationwide and their YouTube channel is full of great gardening videos. Discover learning opportunities for teachers from Life Lab.
The California School Garden Network offers materials for creating and sustaining school gardens that include helpful planting and management tips useful to parents.