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Posts Tagged ‘FL

Our dear friend Amy mentioned a local farm to us quite a few months back.  It’s only about a 10 minute drive from our house, and we didn’t know about it.  King Family Farm and Market is a local, family owned farm in our area that uses organic practices.  I can’t say enough great things the farm itself and the kindness of the King family and staff.  I did a previous post on Earth Day about a baby sheep at the farm which was a special experience for my kids.  King Family Farm‘s latest addition, “April”, a baby sheep.

In the last few months, my 2 and 4 year old have learned what plants look like when they grow, that insects and bugs ARE an important part of growing plants, that knowing your local farmer makes you appreciate your food and most importantly my kids get to CHOOSE the vegetables and fruits they are going to try that week.  Since we’ve been visiting the farm, my kids now eat, broccoli, kale, cauliflower, romanseco, leeks and even ask for tomatoes for a snack.  Everything is packed with nutrients because it hasn’t been shipped anywhere.  In fact, it’s usually picked that morning.  One day I asked for collared greens because I didn’t see them, and they had someone cut me a fresh bunch.  I was floored.  We love eating local and supporting our neighbors.  The only drawback for us is that most of the farms here close for the summer.  It’s already about 90 degrees every day which doesn’t make for ideal growing conditions.

The best part about visiting the farm for my kids is that it’s an open space for them to run.  They can climb a big tree or two, run in the field and all while they learn where their food comes from.  There is also a fenced area with sheep and a donkey better known as Bubba the burro.  Bubba is there to protect the sheep from coyotes.  We immediately fell in love with Bubba.  At first we just went to check out the animals.  Now my kids start chanting Bubba in the car if they think it’s been too long since we’ve seen him.  We even buy fresh carrots from the farm to feed Bubba and the sheep.

What’s not to love about this face?

When we returned yesterday from visiting the farm before they close for the summer, I made the girls these lunches.

What’s my point?  I am always trying to help friend and families find new ways of introducing kids to new foods.  Kids embrace new experiences with enthusiasm.  They will be more willing to try new things if they choose them on their own.

I am encouraging you rather than taking the kids to the grocery store, save your produce shopping for the local farmer’s markets, the u-pick farms and seek our local farmers like these for your fruits, vegetables, and other local foods, plants and homemade products.  Not only will you eat better, but your food will be fresher, contain more nutrients, most likely more affordable and you will get your kids to try the new things they choose themselves.  Our rule at home is that they don’t have to like it right away but they do have to try it.  Very often they decide they like it and eat it anyway!

Here are some resources for you no matter where you are in the country:

http://www.localharvest.org/

http://www.pickyourown.org/

http://www.eatwellguide.org/

Field of zinnias at King Family Farm and Market, Bradenton, FL

One last very important thing!  THANK YOU to all of you who voted for me!  I am unofficially in the Circle of Moms Top 25 Foodie Moms list!  Voting ended last night, and I came in at #17.  They will officially publish the list next month.  I appreciate everyone who took the time to vote!  Thanks again!

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We are so fortunate to live in Florida where we have exposure to so much marine life and education.  My kids get great learning experiences whether it’s at the beach or at the local aquarium.  We also get to visit the birds and mammals who have been injured from fishing lines, plastic bags and other various injuries and watch them rehabilitate here and be released.   During turtle nesting season here (now, spring through fall) we see the roped off sea turtle nests and have even found sea turtle eggs after they’ve hatched.  At our local aquarium, Mote Marine Laboratory, we get to visit the hatchlings when they are there before their release and the older turtles who live there.  They have loggerhead and green turtles which are both native to the area.  Mote does a lot of great research and education in our area and in other areas of the state.  We are lucky!

Miss G has my cartoonish version of a sea turtle.  They’re much cuter in person!  She has a Justin’s Almond Butter and jam sandwich on Rudi’s Whole Grain bread.  The fun pie pieces on its back and its eyes are made from dairy free cheese.  His legs are made from the crusts.  At top left are nectarine slices and a watermelon octopus.  At the top right are watermelon chunks with soy cheese fish on top packed in her Easy Lunch Box.

Miss A has mini boats for her lunch below.  At the top left are watermelon chunks and a soy cheese boat on top.  At the top right are nectarine slices and a nectarine boat on top.

And to go with his rice, tofu & veggie bowl lunch, I packed my husband an Easy Lunch Box of a salad of mixed greens and spinach leaves, locally grown grape tomatoes and a red sweet pepper “I heart you”.  At the top left is a homemade zucchini mini muffin.  At the top right is a single serve container of Sabra hummus and not shown are whole grain crackers for dipping.


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