August 25, 2020
In today’s fast paced world, eating healthy is an ongoing challenge given our busy lifestyles.
And when it comes to providing healthy food for our kids, it’s essential they have access to the right nutritional sources for their developing bodies and minds as it fuels their future.
Learning about where food comes from can be a fun way for families to better realize the importance of developing healthy eating habits and attitudes they will carry with them for the rest of their lives. For families living in Ontario, taking a fun day trip to a farm offers authentic ways for kids to connect with agriculture and the animals that are an important food source.
Promoting healthy living
For kids living in more urban spaces, seeing first-hand where their food is grown, helps them learn to appreciate what they're eating as farms offer unique educational playgrounds for young minds.
Farmers are happy to act as a guide, taking you all over their property, answering questions and engaging the kids in conversation about animal welfare and the planting or harvesting of crops. Giving your child an opportunity to get their hands dirty picking some fresh vegetables or perhaps riding a pony can be a rewarding experience that can’t be taught in a classroom or on a tablet.
Visit a local farm to go berry or apple picking in the fall — and don’t forget to select honey, eggs, fruits and all the vegetables that are in season.
Develop a positive association with nature and rural life
It is no secret that being outside in nature is good for your kids' health. In fact, according to research studies, exposure to nature can reduce stress levels by as much as 28%.
Allowing our kids to experience a little contact with nature can have many positive physical benefits but it also opens them up to learning more about the science of mother earth.
Take a hike in nature
As part of your day trip, it is important that you get out of the car to stretch your legs and get the blood flowing. Along your route, find a provincial park or walking trail that your kids will enjoy exploring.
Before you leave the house, triple-check the gear list and include the essentials:
Sunglasses, sun-protective clothes and sunscreen.
Extra clothes, water & healthy food options
Beyond the minimum expectation
Including foot care and insect repellent (as needed)
Map or compass
Headlamp or flashlights
Plus extra batteries
Ensure everyone especially your kids stay dry, warm, fed and hydrated on the trail – water intake is important especially during warmer months. Kids tend to bore quickly so be creative to keep things fun – stop at look out points of interest, skip rocks, inspect mossy trees or clamber onto boulders.
As any Canadian knows, watch the forecast as things can change quickly and its best to be extra cautious to avoid inclement weather.
Try to involve them in selecting the trail and preparing their own backpack.
Most importantly, teach our kids the value of preserving mother nature by leaving no trace – setting a good example goes along way!