Organic Kids: How to Grow OneApr 09, 2011 03:26PM ● By Shawn R. Frost
Old MacDonald had a farm, but was it an organic one? Kids today still sing that favorite tune and are excited by the idea of a farm filled with plants and animals. Imagine bringing that to life by visiting an organic farm with your children. Inviting kids to see where our food comes from can give them a sense of excitement about food and how it affects their growing bodies. Visiting an organic farm is a great adventure for the kids and an opportunity to pick up some fresh organic fruits and vegetables. Call ahead to find out what they offer visitors. Many farms allow visitors to pick their own fruits straight off the vine. Kids especially enjoy this experience and often discover a new favorite food. Since fruits and vegetables can be seasonal, plan several visits at different times throughout the year. This gives kids the opportunity to see what is in season and try fresh fruits and vegetables. Expanding their variety of food preferences through discovery can make mealtime easier for Mom who may be struggling to introduce healthy alternatives to their child’s diet.
Talking with the farmers and learning how they take care of their plants and animals is a fun hands-on learning opportunity. Organic farmers employ strategies that cooperate with nature to keep their crops healthy. As kids see and smell compost they find out how organic farmers use less water than their non-organic counterparts. Hunting for ladybugs demonstrates how nature’s natural predators can help keep pests at bay so crops can grow without the use of chemicals and pesticides. It is important that we teach our new generation that chemicals can reduce the food nutrients in our foods and also can contaminate our water supply. As a matter of fact, the EPA estimates pesticides contaminate the ground water in 38 states, polluting the primary source of drinking water for more than half of the country’s population. In addition a $1.5 million study funded by the US Department of Defense (DOD) and recently published in the journal “Nature Genetics”, has connected neurological disorders like Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Parkinson’s Disease with organophospates, a class of chemicals found in agricultural and household pesticides. It is more important than ever to choose safe water and then drink plenty of it. Children today consume large amounts of sugar and one major culprit is soda. Not only is it inundated with sugar, but also soda can block the body’s ability to absorb calcium leading to osteoporosis. Drinking quality water is key to growing a healthy child. For variety, a great alternative my homemade sports drink. (see below) It is easy to make and a hit at soccer and basketball practices.
If actually visiting a farm isn’t practical you can enjoy a trip right in your home by reading my newly released book, The Organic Farm. Children join Blaise on his journey to White Rabbit Acres Organic Farm. Blaise discovers that at this farm they hoe for weeds rather use a tractor so as not to disturb the soil too much and how to check for a ripe watermelon. His delightful adventure is appealing to kids and is supplemented with what I call factoids throughout the book for the adults. These factoids provide interesting statistics and studies that support the consumption of an organic diet.
Starting early and sharing with our kids the importance of making deliciously healthy choices can show them how to grow strong just like the vegetables and farm animals.
Shawn's soda and sports drink alternative:
2 cups Pure water (Evian, Reverse Osmosis, or Distilled Water)
¼ cup 100% organic fruit juice*
Pinch of sea salt ¼ teaspoon (should be gray or pink in color not pure white!) I use Celtra salt by Ultra life.
*white grape is good if you are making a big batch for a team because it won't stain the cooler.
Shawn R. Frost is a board certified Holistic Health Practitioner in Vero Beach Florida. He is a Nutrition & Lifestyle Coach (NLC) and Corrective & High Performance Exercise Kinesiology (CHEK) Practitioner. His book, The Organic Farm, was designed as a tool for adults who eat & live organically to share the ideas and reasoning with their children in a fun and engaging manner. The Organic Farm is only $11.99. Call 1-800-319-8669 to order your copy or visit www.VitalJourney.com A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this book will be allocated to the purchase of Central American Rainforest for the purpose of preservation.