Ask a five year-old where her food comes from and you may hear her say the name of your local grocery store. And, why not? That answer makes perfect sense to a youngster. Your family needs food, so you take a trip to the grocery store. It’s likely your child hasn’t given a lot of thought to how the food gets to the grocery store. Teaching kids about where and how healthy food is grown is a good lesson to share.
So just where do our fruits and vegetables come from? Fruits and vegetables grow in many different ways:
- They can grow on trees like apples do
- They can grow underground from a root like a carrot
- They also grow on vines and bushes
In fact, all food has to “grow” somewhere, whether it’s an animal for meat, grains for processing into flour and other products, or artificial flavorings made in a lab to mimic whole food flavors found in nature.
It’s best, however, to eat food as close to their natural state as possible. That means that not much has been done to them before they get to us. Fruits and vegetables are the easiest type of food to find in a natural state. Foods that come in boxes and can be stored on shelves for months, for example, have been processed and have had things added to them to preserve them long before they get to us, in particular lots of them may have added sugar.
For more information about growing healthy food, and even planting a garden this summer, check out our “Gardening – Growing Goodness” lesson. You can help your kids understand where healthy food comes from and maybe even inspire them to grow their own.