Colorful place mats on wood table with yellow forks, knives and spoons, two green plastic plates, and purple plastic bowls, and blue plastic cups.
Perfect table setting for two oh so treasured grandchildren.

 Children’s Activities

What a beautiful gift to give a child: intimate knowledge of our food community. See their faces light up when they plate a dish they’ve just learned to cook. See their excitement when visiting a farm and learning how to grow the food they eat. Including them in the community food web strengthens and unites our communities.

Children’s Activities

What a beautiful gift to give a child: intimate knowledge of our food community. See their faces light up when they plate a dish they’ve just learned to cook. See their excitement when visiting a farm and learning how to grow the food they eat. Including them in the community food web strengthens and unites our communities.

If children are the future, then it is absolutely vital that we include them in the community food web. Routines and habits learned at an early age tend to stay with us throughout our lives. Learning to cook fresh, locally-produced food while young becomes the norm and they then continue that tradition throughout their lives, passing it on to their own children and fostering healthy inter-connected communities. Including children in the food community further unites us. 

Who doesn’t want to give their children unique experiences? Whether it’s a farm camp where they learn the importance of healthy soil and exactly what goes into growing our food, or a cooking class where they learn the joy of making their own food, these activities provide wonderful opportunities for our children to become a part of the food web. They become aware of where our food comes from, how it gets into our homes, and how we can cook it. This knowledge can then influence their choices as they get older and head out into the world. 

Learning about the food community also leads to healthy habits. Instead of heading for the fast-food line, children learn the joy cooking your own food. In the process, they learn the impact on their own health, as well as the health of the community. If going to the farmers market every week, or having a backyard garden, is part of the routine growing up, it becomes the norm for children that they will carry into adulthood. Cooking healthy dishes exposes children to fresh, healthy food instead of relying on unhealthy, processed foods. This conditions their taste-buds to expect fresh food, not sugar and preservatives. 

Children understand their part in the community. When they go to a farmers market and see the incredible selection of fresh, locally-grown produce, they understand that this is their community and that they are a vital part of it. Interacting with growers and artisans, furthers their understanding of these relationships. When they participate in a farm camp, they see where that food came from and learn how it gets to the market. When they take a cooking class, they learn how to use that food and craft it into something enjoyable to share with others. 

Camps come in all sizes and flavors. Some last a morning, others go an entire day, and others encompass a week or two. Camps accommodate children of different ages with some focusing on the pre-school ages and others serving older children. There are cooking camps where children learn to cook while guided by adults. There are agricultural camps where children actively engage in farming. There are hybrids. Most camps and classes fill up quickly – especially those offered in the summer. If looking for summer activities, it is advisable to begin looking in early spring. 

Questions to ask:

What are the ages of children in this camp/class? 

What are the hours/days? 

What is the cost?

What is the adult/child ratio? 

What is the experience/education/credentials of the teachers? 

What is the registration process? 

What is the cancellation policy? 

Do you guarantee the camp will proceed or do you need a certain number of registrants?

What materials/items do the children need to bring? 

Walk me through a typical day/camp. 

Can I get a list of references from other parents? 

Is there anything else I need to know that I haven’t asked? 

The managers of the camps/classes usually have information sheets available. If possible, see if you can bring your child to the location before making a commitment, and try to meet the camp manager in person beforehand. Ask friends/neighbors who have participated in the past to get their feedback to make sure it will be a good fit for your child. 

Ready to start looking? Use United In Food! Click on the “Select Region” drop-down box and choose the region. Click on the “Select Category” drop-down box and choose “Children’s Activities.” You will find a list of activities with links and contact information. Have fun!