Today’s “Kids in the Kitchen” series, actually gets the kids
out of the kitchen and learning about where food comes from, how it’s made,
etc. Keeping with my “Foodie Field Trip” theme from yesterday, I thought I
would post some fun and informational “Foodie Field Trips” just for kids!
series since the field trips will get your kids interested and exposed to food.
Plus I am sure by now, the kids could use a break from the house.
different foodie field trips and destinations to talk about that I am going to
break this up into two (maybe three) blog posts. First up are foodie field
trips you can take no matter what part of the country you live. The next post
will be specific food destinations that maybe in your own city or may require
the use of a plane, train or automobile to get there!
obvious or not so obvious option for a foodie field trip, it is a great free
and educational place to go. Take a few hours to leisurely browse a specialty
grocery store or food shop. Trader Joes, Whole Foods, Sprouts, Central Market
all have foods and ingredients that you and your child maybe unfamiliar with
and are fun to explore. Many of these stores sell an assortment of spices,
nuts, grains, sugar, etc. in bulk bins, which allows you to see these products
out of the standard packaging and buy as much or as little as need, making it
perfect to try something new. Browse these stores and choose an ingredient that
you and your child can take home, research, and make a new recipe using. Most specialty
grocery stores usually have nut grinders, making it possible to have fresh
ground nut butters to take home. Children will have fun watching whole nuts ‘magically’
transform into nut butter right before their eyes.
and see if there are specialty food stores or shops. Some of these specialize
in ingredients (like a spice shop) or cooking/baking tools (William Sonoma or
Sur La Table). These stores sell fun kitchen gadgets and usually have quite the
selection of kids tools and cookbooks.
your local store into a fun experience. As I mentioned in my past kids cookingseries, a trip to the grocery store can be very educational for kids. Make the
shopping list into a scavenger hunt, allowing older kids to go search for
ingredients. Or play grocery ABC’s by finding a food that starts with every
letter of the alphabet. Make a point to find foods for every color of the
rainbow or find as many foods as possible in different shapes (ie: Triangle-
strawberry, Circle- onion). Also check with your local store’s manager and see
if they offer tours for small groups (such as boy/girl scouts, preschool groups,
homeschool groups, etc.) or have child size shopping carts for use.
farmer’s market as a kid with my family. It was such a fun treat to get an ‘old
fashioned’ bottle of root beer, often sold in large metal buckets full of ice.
We would then pick up such treasures as pumpkins, watermelons, purple hull
peas, black-eyed peas, and other locally grown treasures depending on the time
of year. What fun we had heading home to eat our treasures and sit around the
kitchen table shelling peas with my Mom.
farmer’s markets and learning about food and products grown and/or packaged in
my area. Some of these famer’s markets offer frees samples and have activities
for kids such as petting zoos, crafts and games, and even kids cooking classes.
Don’t know where a farmer’s market is near you? Check out Local Harvest. I
recently discovered this site and absolutely love it! Not only does it offer an
online shop and articles about seasonal food, you can plug in you zip code and
the site shows you farmer’s markets, farms, sources of sustainably grown food
in your area. Like until I found this site I had no idea there were OVER 15
farmer’s markets in my city and surrounding areas!
place for kids to learn where their food comes from. Not all, but some,
farms/ranches offer tours, activities and ‘pick your own’ options. Some of
these farms offer only seasonal activities or different activities from season
to season and may not be open year round depending what they specialize in.
and I visited a local Texas farm (Sweet Berry Farms) that offers a pumpkin
patch, corn maze, and hay ride in the fall and then berry picking in the spring
with the summers being closed (pictured above).
search for farms in your area. Another great resource is a website called PickYour Own. They offer listings of farms and ranches nationally and worldwide, as
well as tips, recipes, and activities for using your fresh picked produce.
if you still can’t find a local farm or ranch to visit, ask family, friends and
neighbors if they have a garden, fruit or nut tree, backyard chicken coop, etc. (or plant your own!!),
that they wouldn’t mind showing your child or allowing your child to help
maintain or harvest.
truck rides with my uncle and cousins to feed the cows and horses. He also had
huge pecan trees on his property that us kids would happily gather the fallen
nuts and then later ‘help’ my grandmother, aunts, and Mom shell and then turn
into pecan pie! And my sister claims her love of tomatoes is from helping our
family friend pluck tomatoes from the tomato plants in their backyard garden
becoming quite popular. These classes offer kids the opportunity to learn to
cook hands on.
cooking school in their after school program and summer camp this past school
year and summer. I have enjoyed teaching and developing recipes and
curriculum for Cook,Learn, Grow and have been busy this summer watching kids learn about new foods
and how to prepare foods on their own.
with me here in Texas I know many of you live far away, so here are a few other
great places to find kids cooking classes nationwide. Check with your local
grocery store or specialty food store, many (Whole Foods, Central Market, SurLa Table, Williams Sonoma) offer kids and adult cooking classes. Some Whole
Foods stores offer a program called “Kids Club” which is a free program every
Sunday, offering activities for kids relating to food.
centers, churches, schools and community colleges are also great resources for
finding kids (and adult) cooking classes.
Look no further than craft stores, such as Michael’s, Hobby Lobby and Jo Ann’s.
Many of these craft stores offer cake decorating classes just for kids (of all
ages) or classes for adults that would be perfect for teenagers.
will often have cooking classes or special times/days where kids can simply come
in and decorate a cupcake or cookie.
in your area? A simple Google search will pull up many nationwide!