Lest you think I’m some sort of super-mom who only feeds her kids local produce, I have to start this post by saying that I’ve only taken my kids to a farmers market once…and my oldest is 13. A bit pathetic, really.
And the one time we did go wasn’t even a success. It was a hot, summer afternoon, and the kids were exhausted from the errands we’d run that morning. They had very little interest in the produce and just wanted to go home. To make things even worse, my youngest spilled her drink and got dangerously close to tantrum zone. No fun for anyone.
This year, though, I am determined to try again. Why, you may ask? Because Farmers Markets offer many valuable benefits to families, the community, and the environment.
1. Farmers Markets are good for the environment.
So much of our food comes to the grocery store from locations far and wide, and all that travel creates havoc on the environment. The longer food travels, the greater the impact on the environment. When you shop at farmers markets and buy local foods, you are minimizing the carbon footprint of your meals.
2. Farmers Markets support the local community.
Studies have shown that growers who sell locally create more jobs than those who don’t. In addition, it has been found that local sellers return more than three times as much of their sales to the local economy than chains.
3. Local fruits and vegetables are healthier.
Because they don’t have to travel for miles to a grocery store, local fruits and vegetables can be picked when they are most nutrient-rich. According to one study, locally-provided broccoli has twice the vitamin C content than broccoli that travels across the country.
4. Local fruits and vegetables taste better.
Because local fruits and vegetables can be picked when they are most ripe, they taste better than the non-local produce you find at the grocery store. That means your kids will want to eat more fruits and vegetables!
5. Farmers Markets could minimize mealtime drama.
When kids have some ownership over what they eat, you’re less likely to have drama at mealtime. So, take the kids to the farmers market and have them pick out some interesting produce. Then, go home and research together how you could prepare it.
6. Farmers Markets provide opportunities to interact with the community.
According to the Farmers Market Coalition, people who shop at farmers markets have 15-20 social interactions per visit versus 1-2 at a grocery store. By taking your kids to a farmers market, you’re helping them bond with their community.
7. Your kids will have fun.
Some farmers markets have activities especially for kids, so you can shop for food and entertain the kids all at once! The newly expanded Carytown Market will have bounce houses and music when they open Sunday, April 22 at the Kickers’ City Stadium. What better way to celebrate Earth Day?!
Farmers markets offer so many benefits for your family, community, and planet. I hope to see you at one this season!
Link to original publication at richmondmomsblog.com