Imagine opening your back door to retrieve an ingredient needed for that night’s supper. Imagine kids literally “picking” their own vegetables to eat. Believe it or not, it’s easier than you may think to make this fantasy a reality! The growing popularity of the farm to table movement has led more and more families to plant their own small vegetable gardens right in their own back yard, and you and your family can take part too. Use these simple guidelines to spend an afternoon with your kids preparing for a vegetable garden of your very own!
Silly Food Fact
What is a funny-looking vegetable, shaped like a pear, but a cousin to the pumpkin? Oh yes, it also has an exact birth-year: 1944. You are right … the butternut squash. The squash family is thousands of years old, but the butternut is a recent member and also the most popular of all winter squashes. Its curvy shape is perfect for craft projects—use it as an ideal turkey body for a Thanksgiving centerpiece, or paint numbers on it to make a perky bowling pin.
We all know it’s important to pay attention to what we’re feeding our children, but it’s also critical that we consider where our kitchenware and cooking equipment come from. While it might seem overwhelming to add yet another thing to think about while preparing meals, we think paying attention to potential chemical threats is well worth it. Here’s how to make sure your family is safe:
Silly Food Fact
Nutmeg caused a war! We think of nutmeg as a simple eggnog spice, but its production was supremely valuable several hundred years ago. Back then, nutmeg trees—50’ tall tropical evergreen trees that take 8 years to yield a first harvest—only grew on a few Indonesian islands. In 1621 the Dutch waged a war to control the islands just for their nutmeg production. They even sent out warships to destroy nutmeg trees planted elsewhere.
Cold winter months mean more time indoors, and more time indoors means a need for fun indoor activities! If this need sounds familiar to you, you’ve come to the right place! Hand decorated aprons are perfect for wear in the kitchen or to protect clothes during arts and crafts time too! This apron making activity is not only an opportunity to have fun and express creativity; it also leaves your healthy little cooks with an apron of their very own (or one to give to a loved one!).
Fresh herbs add flavor and antioxidants to almost any dish. While it’s true that herbs are “in season” throughout summer, it’s quite easy to grow an herb garden during winter, too. Just follow these five simple steps for growing your own indoor winter herb garden. This project is a great way to teach little ones about how plants grow and are maintained. Even better, your kiddo can contribute to each family meal with his/her home grown herbs!
Silly Food Fact
Sage is a very old herb. The Romans prized it as a medicine, and salvia, the official name for sage means to heal or save. Centuries ago, people were also convinced that sage produced wisdom. Have you heard the word “sage” used to describe a person? It means someone who is very wise. Sage is a versatile plant: a pungent herb for cooking, an attractive landscaping bush, a soothing medicinal tea, and a popular greenery in craft projects.
One of the goals of feeding your kiddos healthy meals is to lead them to a lifetime of healthy cooking and healthy eating. With this goal in mind, we want our little ones to be able to use good judgment on their food choices wherever they are and whatever they are offered—even when we aren’t around to help guide them. This activity will help them learn how to make good choices and have fun doing it. Plus, this activity provides kids with a fun game to play with over and over again.
The importance of the whole family eating healthfully receives plenty of attention in the news, on social media sites, and in casual conversation. In fact, it receives so much coverage that choosing what is healthiest for you and your family can become downright confusing. Every recommendation seems to contradict the last piece of advice you heard, and it’s overwhelming. Whole grain, no grain, dairy, soy, local, organic, non-GMO… It can leave you frustrated and ready to throw in the towel. But before you do that, keep reading to learn how to sort through the mess and decide what’s best for your family.
Silly Food Fact
As a famous scientist in the early 1900s, George Washington Carver invented over 100 uses of the sweet potato: synthetic rubber, glue for postage stamps, and starch for cotton fabrics—to name a few. Other experimenters have combined sweet potato juice with lime juice to create a dye for cloth; artisans have used sweet potatoes in ceramics; and, currently, researchers are considering biofuel options. All this from a simple root vegetable!