Want to help local farmers and find healthier foods at the same time?
Make a pledge to spend just $10/week on locally grown food to promote local agriculture and to promote the importance of fresh, healthy produce at http://virginiafoodsystemcouncil.org/
One reason for today’s childhood obesity epidemic is that children do not eat enough fruits and vegetables. Introduce them to farmers’ markets, where farmers sell locally grown agricultural products. These markets promote good nutrition and help introduce children and parents to fresh fruits and vegetables. Farmers’ markets often have fun and exciting events occurring each market day, and children are welcome to learn and sample different types of produce.
In the past few decades, children and families have become less physically active and are leading more sedentary lifestyles. Children are spending much less time outdoors and more time indoors in front of screens. Research connects the lack of outdoor time to not only increased obesity, but also other conditions such as depression, stress and poor performance in the classroom. Many communities are finding ways to connect children and families to the outdoors through parks, recreation and fun!
Find a community garden near you!
Plant a Community Garden
Community gardens are a great way to introduce children and families to the benefits of growing their own food! The more that families are around gardens and fresh vegetables, the more likely they will be to try new foods and make healthy choices throughout life. To keep your garden fun in every season:
Get tips from experts on each vegetable’s water, soil and sun preferences and the best time to plant them at the Virginia Cooperative Extension website.
- Make signs to label plants and mark who planted them and in which season.
- Plant seasonal crops such as cucumbers and peppers in the summer and lettuce in the fall.
- Design scarecrows to ward off birds that may eat seeds.
- Have weeding parties throughout the year.
- Count down until spring during fall and winter, so children having something to look forward to.