A number of years ago, my family joined a vegetable co-op where every Friday the farm owners (who also happened to be our friends) brought a truck load of produce into town. Members took turns having the fruits and vegetables delivered to their front porch as co-op families came by and took what they needed for the week. There was always enough, sometimes more than enough for every family.
We shared delight when the delivery was more blueberries and exchanged recipes when it was … more zucchini. My kids insist that they’ve eaten zucchini every conceivable way it can be prepared (including in chocolate chip cookies!!) I cried the day our friends sold the farm.
Imagine my delight when I heard about The Farm Table, a group of farms and families committed to eating fresh food grown locally. One of the families in my practice is the neighborhood coordinator for the group. Watch…
Fresh, The Movie reminded me that as I feed my family, I am working to ensure their health not just today, but into the future as well. “I am a caretaker of creation,” one farmer says in the film.
Me, too… if I’m really honest about my role as a parent in the kitchen. My experience as a physician tells me that children don’t naturally gravitate toward the healthiest foods, and man cannot live by chicken nuggets alone! Kids need to see their grown-ups as role models for good nutrition, and we need to REALLY eat as though what doctors tell us about making healthy choices is true…because it is.
There are many ways to grow healthier eaters, and one of the best ways is to serve really tasty food. It’s important that children know where their food comes from, and I don’t mean which freezer door in the grocery store has the Kid Cuisines! Try reading labels sometime with your children. Better yet, have a counting contest to see how many foods don’t need a label because they’re packed by nature!
Not everyone has time or space for a garden. Consider inviting this group of farmers and families to join you at the table. Richmond, Virginia families need only download information and sign on, but I’ll bet there are similar opportunities all over. The money you spend isn’t to get a good deal on fresh produce. It’s to support locally grown food and to eat more of it as you teach your children about good nutrition. If your experience mirrors my own, your family will begin to think about what they’re eating and whose hands worked to grow that food. Think of the money as an investment in developing better eaters, but the real return on your investment comes when you see your family’s health change… for the better.
Feeding my family fresh, I am
Gayle Schrier Smith, MD