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Posts Tagged ‘sheep

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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Miss G wanted to learn about what state we live in so she got a new 50 states map puzzle for her birthday.  Since it’s still “S” week at school, I decided to make her a Sarasota, Florida lunch.  I rolled out whole grain bread with a rolling pin & hand cut the Florida shapes.  Inside is almond butter, agave nectar and sliced strawberries.  I decided to just make a small fruit leather star to show her “You are here.” in Sarasota.  For fun I added dried cherries in an orange blossom cup for the state flower some watermelon chunks in a pretty cup and on top are flamingo picks of edamame and carrot suns on top.  She’s also having a dapple dandy plum half at the bottom right with a strawberry heart on top.

Little sister got a space themed lunch today with a space shuttle and an S sandwich with the same whole grain bread, almond butter, agave nectar and sliced strawberries. The sandwich is surrounded by watermelon shuttles, a watermelon star and dried apricot crescent moon and a star.  In the pink sheep are dried cherries topped with a watermelon sun & stars and on the bottom left are watermelon chunks topped with a space shuttle strawberry and shuttle picks with edamame on them.  Both girls had ice water in their CamelBak kids bottles.

It’s been well over a week since I’ve made a decent meal for my kids so thank you for being so patient as we recover from our ailments!  The girls are both back for their half days of preschool this week.  Little A, who is 19 months, is either finishing her whole lunch or barely eating.  She adores school so sometimes she’s just distracted.  She has definitely decided for now that she does not like sandwiches so I have to be very creative with what to feed her. Miss G on the other hand only wants peanut buttter & jelly or turkey & cheese on whole grain bread every single day.  Yesterday she requested a butterfly.  I used a plastic cookie cutter (SUPER simple), cut the body out of strawberry fruit leather & stuck candy heart decorations on the wings with honey.  The antennae are decorative picks.

Miss G’s favorite fruit as of late is pluots.  They’re a hybrid of a plum & apricot mixed.  They look like a wild plum.  There are a few different varieties, but our favorite kind is the dapple dandies.  They taste like a slice of candy.  If you haven’t had one, they are a must try in any variety.  Her fruit container has half of a pluot sliced underneath, heart shaped strawberries, raspberries and blackberries.

Miss A got leftover Annie’s Organic spiral macaroni with edamame mixed in, Babybel cheese hearts on top with 2 of the candy heart decorations on top. On the left side in the silicone sheep are cashews and above are mandarin oranges, blackberries and raspberries.  The girls both had Lifeway kefir pouches and apple sauce as well.

After a long weekend, I sent little Miss A back to school this morning.  When I kissed Miss G good morning, she was feverish so she stayed home with me today.  We’ve been fighting off something for almost 2 weeks now in our house.  We did get a small box of new, fun bento tools this weekend.  Our favorite so far is this little pick bus to hold all of our cute picks.  I have found http://www.allthingsforsale.com to be one of the best resources for bento supplies.  They are the most affordable with a wide selection of things.  This is the link for the pick bus:

http://www.allthingsforsale.com/bento-food-pick-chopsticks/1841-japanese-bento-animal-food-pick-with-school-bus-case-8-pcs-set-4904705158638.html

Miss A had leftover Annie’s macaroni with edamame and leftover chicken satay today in the small round container. In the heart container are parmesan goldfish crackers, red seedless grapes underneath blackberries and star shaped strawberries.

Since Miss G is at home, she wanted to help make her lunch.  She chose an airplane and a bus for her sandwich shapes today.  In the pink sheep container are her gummy vitamins.  The brown squirrel container has red seedless grapes in it.  She chose all the new pics to poke in her fruit.  She loved the little hat on the strawberry and the jewels, flower and animal picks for the blackberries.

Thanks again for reading.  Hoping everyone had a restful Labor Day weekend!


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