At the Farmer’s Market: Kids Love Fruits and Vegetables

by Kirke on June 5, 2013

At the Farmer’s Market Kids love fruits and vegetables

Kids chow down on free fruit samples and the College of San Mateo Farmer’s Market

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Many parents know that a good way to get kids to eat their fruits and vegetables is to allow them to select for themselves the ones they want to try. A Farmer’s Market is an excellent venue for introducing new seasonal produce—as well as for finding fun the whole family will enjoy. Many farmers offer free samples of crops from their most recent harvest. You won’t be able to keep your children away from the fruit samples, as evidenced in the above video.

Farmer’s Markets are exploding in number across the country, increasing from 1755 in 1994 to over 6000 by 2010, growing 16% just between 2009 and 2010. It might be just what we need at just the right time. The CDC reports that in 2009 only 20% of the population met the recommended intake of fruits and vegetables. It is especially hard for poor Americans who often live in areas known as food deserts, where most stores nearby are convenience stores that don’t stock produce. Helpfully, many Farmer’s Markets accept food stamps, now known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Unfortunately, there are also few Farmer’s Markets found in these food deserts. On the positive side, many are located centrally in urban areas, accessible by public transportation.

The high quality, fresh from the field produce found at Farmer’s Markets is unrivaled when compared to what is available at most grocery stores. Prices vary from market to market, but great deals are plentiful. Selection near closing time can be limited, but that is the time to take advantage of sale prices. Contrary to popular belief that food prices are high in this country, in 2009 Americans spend the least amount of their income on food (6%) compared with the rest of the world, according to the World Bank. Part of the reason we can feed ourselves at such a low cost is due to government subsidies paid to the largest growers. Much of those crops go into processed foods that are not a good value, even though they are inexpensive. Those foods are largely calorie dense and nutrient poor. Value in food is found in nutrient density—more nutrients per calorie. Processed food is cheap, but a poor value. Produce is really relatively inexpensive when you consider the high density of nutrients and vitamins delivered, and in a beautiful and tasty package, too! Watch and enjoy kids learning how pleasure-dense produce can be.

References:

Battistoni, A. (2012, February 1). Americans spend less on food than any other country. Retrieved June 5, 2013, from http://www.motherjones.com/bluemarble/2012/01/america-food-spending-less

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s. State Indicator Report on Fruits and Vegetables, 2009. Retrieved from http://www.fruitsandveggiesmatter.gov/downloads/StateIndicatorReport2009.pdf

Farmers Market Growth: 1994-2010. Farmers’ Market and Local Food Marketing. USDA. http://www.ams.usda.gov/

McCracken, V. A., Sage, J. L., & Sage, R. A. (2012, April). Bridging the gap: Do farmers’ markets help alleviate impacts of food deserts? A final report (Research Report No. 1401-12). Retrieved from University of Wisconsin website: http://www.irp.wisc.edu.

 

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

joy June 5, 2013 at 6:17 pm

Good stuff… loved watching the little girl getting lost in the music…

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Kirke June 6, 2013 at 6:08 pm

Joy, you know….you are a very excellent human being. And I don’t exaggerate. Thank you for being my biggest fan.

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