Until I was five years old there was a farm across the street from my house. No, we didn't live in the country - but we were literally at the edge of the city where the line between suburban and agricultural land use often blur. As kids, it didn't take much imagination to understand where the food we ate came from. Now that I'm raising my own kids I'm always conscious how to make that connection for them. Ground. Farm. Food. Plate. I really feel that this connection leads to better food choices and in turn leads to a healthier lifestyle.
With urban sprawl it gets harder and harder for our kids to see that relationship and appreciate it. While you can still find the occasional farm on the outskirts of the city - they are fewer and farther between.
One of the ways I've begun trying to foster that appreciation in my kids has been through visits to farmer's markets throughout the city. At the outset it may not seem like the most entertaining outing for kids - but I find as we start going from booth to booth talking to the farmers and sampling the fresh produce something magical happens. The kids try food they wouldn't otherwise taste, they start to talk about where their food comes from, and see who actually grows it. As a bonus I have a week's worth of delicious, fresh produce to inspire our meals.
How do you connect your kids with the food on their plates?