In many towns where people haven’t had the faintest idea of where their food comes from, or hadn’t known the value of farm-fresh, organic food, farmer’s markets are finally starting to help foster change.
They’re a community gathering spot that inspires more people to grow their own food, and to take charge of their health by going to the “Farmacy” every week instead of overdosing on processed foods.
Eating healthy is becoming easier for adults who have the willpower to do so, but what about the kids?
Getting kids to actually eat their veggies is an eternal struggle for parents, but one farmer’s market has a unique idea that just might help.
The ‘Power of Produce’ for Kids
Most kids are not exactly fond of vegetables, but they are definitely fond of one thing: allowances; as well having the ability to work with money and to make their own decisions.
They also tend to be more apt to try different foods when they’re involved in making them, growing them or buying them.
In the case of one farmer’s market in suburban Detroit, kids have the ability to receive an “allowance” of a $1 token each week simply for making it out to the market, which can then be spent on the fruits and vegetables of their choosing. This ‘Power of Produce’ club is part of the Dearborn Farmer’s Market in Michigan, a city of 100,000-plus people, and is open to kids from ages 5-12.
One New Veggie a Week
Since most of them are likely to spend it on fruit over veggies, the market came up with a unique addendum: kids who agree to try at least one vegetable per week receive an extra dollar that they can either spend or save up for the next week’s market.
Most of the kids come from class field trips and also attend gardening workshops; it’s all sponsored by the local Kiwanis Club.
While these kids might not exactly end up becoming health food junkies overnight, it’s safe to say that small and creative steps like these can help put a dent in the youth obesity and diabetes epidemics over time.
Even though I personally never ate much more than sliced cucumbers as a kid and the occasional lettuce leaf doused in ranch dressing, I’m pretty sure I would have found others to like if I had access different kinds of fresh and especially organic vegetables growing up.
Now thanks to farmers markets and ideas like this, the hope is that other kids can have the ability to discover that there’s a better way to eat.