Here at SFC, we love our work with kids. By promoting Farm to School, cafeteria orders at local schools, we see kids connecting with their food in new and different ways all the time. Sometimes, farmers visit the cafeteria to show off farm-fresh items that are always fun and educational—especially for the student who had never seen brown eggs before and learned that they were from chickens and not (as they had guessed) from humans or eagles.
Our summer field trips and summer camps give kids a chance to experience growing, sharing, and preparing healthy local foods. We see their eyes get wide when we demonstrate how much sugar is in soda, or how far non-local produce can travel. Sometimes we even see them enjoy (or pretend to enjoy!) the spicy bite of a radish because they grew them.
But if kids develop a taste for locally grown broccoli and the adults in their lives are still bringing home chips and soda, there’s not much room for behavior change. That’s where our free cooking class series for parents can come in.
Round Rock Independent School District (ISD) hosted their first class in the fall of 2014, and they are currently hosting their fourth series. Participants in the Round Rock ISD class are always extra motivated because they know that they are responsible for their families’ health as well as their own. They want to talk about feeding their family in a healthy way, even when they’re on a budget, short on time, dealing with picky eaters, or all three.
The kids will often come in at the end to sample the recipe, prompting such comments as “this is the best thing we’ve ever had!” in response to a honey yogurt dip, but it is the adults who participate in the full 90-minute class, discussing strategies for meal planning, reading a nutrition fact label, and navigating the grocery store to find the healthiest options. When the adults have the confidence and strategies for healthy eating and the kids are interested and willing to try new things, the whole family wins.