I am thrilled to be participating in Food Revolution Day! Do you know about this? FoodRevolution is a global day of action initiated by Jaime Oliver to get kids excited about food – cooking and eating healthy.
There’s a great picture here of kids cooking with Jaime on his blog followed by the question: Did you know that there are more than 43 million children worldwide under the age of five who are overweight or obese? Before they can even cook their health is at risk because of what they eat, and the habits they pick up can last a lifetime. That means we need to act now.”
So as an Ambassador for Georgia for Food Revolution Day, I want to talk with you, the adults in our kids’ world about what and how we can help them along the path to healthy eating. One of the things you may have heard me mention if you have taken one of my canning classes is about passing down the art and science of canning to the next generation – so that it doesn’t continue to skip ours and our parents generation! There are so many ways we can share canning with kids of all ages!
I’m breaking this posting into two – maybe three – posts which I’m sharing all this week. We’ll take recipes, ideas, tips, how to’s – all with kids in mind. And this isn’t JUST for parents. It’s for grandparents –and you aunts and uncles out there, grab a niece or nephew. And your friends’ kids. Sharing your knowledge and excitement about food with kids is lots of fun for them – and for you.
Tip 1: Plan a party around kids’ canning – maybe it’s the theme for a birthday party this year? I’d suggest you limit this adventure to no more that 4 in the kitchen with you. Go to a pick-your own farm to start – what fun that is! There are two great websites that will give you many locations for pick-your-own. Pickyourown.org lists locations by state. And Local Harvest allows you to search for Pick Your Own and to enter your location, as well.
Strawberries are in season right now here in Georgia (near you too?) and kids sure love to discover those bright red gems under the leaves. They (the berries and the kids!) are so close to the ground, it makes picking easy for the littlest ones, too. When was the last time you actually saw your food growing right there in front of you? Kids love experiencing this outdoor adventure!
Tip 2: Find a recipe with lots of kid appeal – and make it simple! Fruit of almost any kind is a given! So here’s an easy one for Strawberries – those gems you’ve just been out gathering! Hilary Stamper over at CARE2 has a great blog about making Strawberry Jam with kids – and a darling picture of many hands smashing the berries. This is a great task for our littlest ones (and many older ones too!). I would omit her tip about pectin – it’s just fine without it. Omitting it saves a step and the extra sugar that pectin requires. http://www.care2.com/greenliving/diy-make-strawberry-jam-with-kids.html
This recipe is for “refrigerator” jams, an easy way to introduce preserving/canning to kids. After all, Cooling is a time-honored preserving technique. For those that are older or whom you may want to introduce to water bath canning, check out any of my other recipes on this website for how-tos. I’ll also post it with my next blog this week (hint: think apples!) .