With grocery stores packed with processed foods, it can be hard for many, especially young children, to understand what goes into making the meals they eat every day. Farmers markets help shorten the distance between ingredients and meal by providing a place for adults and kids alike to discover new produce, buy food locally grown, and meet the people that grow it.
For years, Hollywood Farmers Market has taken these benefits one step further by organizing kid specific days to further educate young Portlanders. Working with Joanna Sooper of Turnip the Heat Cooking School, HFM creates events that help connect kids to their meals. These events aim to strengthen kids’ relationships to their food, teaching them about the different produce they come across at the market, as well as basic cooking skills. When kids take part they learn skills that will influence healthy eating habits for life.
These events happen monthly during the market’s peak season, but there are benefits of taking children to the market every Saturday. The market offers a place for kids to eat fresh food, connect with their communities, and have fun. Here are a few ways to ensure you and your kids are getting the most out of the market each week:
- Picky eater? Bring them along to the market and have them help choose what they will eat for the week. Being able to pick what goes into their food will make them much more excited about it when you sit down for dinner.
- Use the market as an opportunity to teach the importance of good spending by giving your kids an allowance to use at the market each week. Your kids will learn to shop wisely and leave with something they are really excited about.
- While they’re spending that allowance, encourage them to talk with vendors so they can understand exactly where the food they eat comes from. They can learn about how plants grow, the seasonality of food, and the people involved in growing it.
- Taste Test! Many of our vendors provide samples for you and your kids to try out. Taste test as much as you can to get them excited about the food and ensure you are buying things that they will love to eat.
Our upcoming kids activities:
May 13: Cooking demo: Fresh green dip
June 10: Third annual Farmers Market Scavenger Hunt
August 12: What part of the plant am I eating?
September 9: Quick pickling
Each of these dates will also feature face painting with Crista, and June 10th and September 9th will have live music for kids, by Steve Cooper and Tallulah’s Daddy! If you’re interested in learning more about the market’s kids activities, call or email our Market Coordinator, Ari Rosner at (503) 803-7279 or firstname.lastname@example.org
See you at the market!
Article by Elizabeth Hill, HFM Market Assistant