Guiding young chidren through the eating process can be both overwhelming and frusrating. Trying to understand what they can and should eat, and when it is proper to start them on differing foods, is a challanging maneuver, but, as adults, modeling healthy eating habits is one of the most important aspects of our jobs as caregivers!
We want to make healthy choices for our children and families, to ensure a lifetime of health, and something else to consider, is eating food that is in season and grown locally. Having in season and local food is more economically and nutritionally sound, than the food we purchase being shipped in from other continents.
When produce is in season, local Farmers harvest their crops and bring the fresh picked items to local Farmers Markets and Road-Side stands, to sell. These abundant crops have no added; preservatives, colors, or flavers, and are sweetened by the sun and soil, which enhances their flavor and nutrients. A vine ripened tomato, is sweet and juicy, if you think your child doesn’t like tomato’s, it is possible that they have never tasted what a tomato naturally tastes like. (www.life.gaim.com.)
Food always tastes better, when it has had the oppurtunity to ripen on the vine, allowing your children to enjoy the natural flavors of produce, enables them to train their tastebuds to enjoy a much wider range of flavors. Keep in mind, that food grown during its natural growing season is more abundant, which means less cost to you, which is always a plus when trying to feed a family. To find out what’s harvested locally in your region of the country go to www.localharvest.org.
Produce grown locally exhibits all of its natural nutrients which is what makes it healthier for you and your Family. When you buy local produce it does not have to travel as far, does not need preservatives to keep it fresh, and deos not need cold storage, which is what enables the produce to maintain its natural goodness. (www.naturallysavvy.com.)
Plants receive their nourishment from the sun and soil, therfore, fresh picked produce has the chance to fully ripen on the vine, which in turn means, higher levels of anti-oxidents, and nutrients.
The natural cycle of food, is designed to support your health. Produce harvested in Spring, aids in the alkalization and detoxification of our bodies, Summer Produce, intends to hydrate our bodies, and the transition into Autumn produce rids our bodies of excess heat. Eating seasonally facilitates our bodies natural healing process.(www.mindbodygreen.com.)
We would not consider giving an infant a donut for breakfast, but readily might give them blueberries coming in from Chile. Produce bought out of season, and shipped from another continent, not only lacks flavor(because it was harvested prematurely), but is also pumped full of preservatives to ensure it does not spoil while traveling across the sea.(www.bodycology.com.) This is neither healthy for your child, our environment, or your pocket book.
There are farmers stands and markets in every region, but if you live in a big city, like Chicago, they are a bit harder to locate, for those of you here in the Chicago area, check-out www.chicagofarmersmarkets.us. to find a market in your neighborhood.