The Farmer’s Market season is upon us, and carving out that extra time on a weekend morning with your kids can seem a bit daunting. There are the other tempting Saturday or Sunday morning rituals – – like coffee in bed and cartoons on the tele – – but believe me you’ll have more fun at the market together. We always feel better after a morning edventure to the market. There is something about that moment when you get your hot coffee, your kids are still rubbing their sleepy eyes and there’s energy in the air of people coming together.

The farmer’s market is so much more enjoyable than a trip to the grocery store for almost any adult — and especially a kid. It’s a true feast for the senses! There’s usually music, free samples, great people watching, delicious freshly baked goods, and flowers bursting into bloom. It’s an eruption of seasonal abundance and an enriching community experience.

We have also had plenty of mishaps at the market! Inevitably with kids, it’s better to be prepared before you throw yourself out the front door.

8 Steps to a Fun Farmer's Market with Kids - (cool) progeny

8 steps to a fun farmer’s market with kids

Go Early: you’ll get your hands on the best produce and the most popular doughnut before they sell out. You’ll also beat the crowd and most likely join the other families sneaking in a trip before it get’s too busy or too hot

BYO bags and give your kiddo a basket: don’t be that dude with all the plastic! If you have a basket for your kids to carry, that’s a great way to get them involved in the process. {double (cool) points: have your kids make their own bag!}

Bring cash and small bills: depending on your child’s age you can divvy up some bills for them to spend and make their own purchases at the market. Talk about this ahead of time and give them an ingredient to look for. Make a scavenger hunt out of it!

Know what’s in season: Share that knowledge with your family. You can loosely plan a menu for the week around vegetables you know may be in season. Be open to change if a certain ingredient isn’t available! For example: veggie lasagna and a green salad, seasonal (asparagus? mushrooms? spring onion?) risotto or noodle bowl, or roasted vegetables for a side dish with a roast chicken.

Make time for a snack: Find a place to picnic and bring a blanket to enjoy your muffins, egg sandwiches, or fresh strawberries.

Give someone a job: If you have a child that’s old enough, you can put them in charge of choosing the root vegetables or finding the best tomatoes and blueberries. Make a game out of it and acknowledge them for their expert sleuthing skills.

Take a lesson home: How do you know when a peach is ripe? What does a turnip actually look like? What’s in season?

Talk to a farmer: Share with your little ones that you are talking to the people who actually grew the food you will be taking home with you! Ask good questions about the location of their farm. Offer to help out! Sometimes they need someone to unload the next crate of broccoli and chances are they might let your kid help out. True story.

We try to carve out time for our Saturday morning trips to the market as much as possible. Every family member has something they look forward to the most. It warms my heart to see such a diverse group of people gathering in celebration of their community’s harvest, and it’s important for your family to see where their food comes from. Hey, you may even get someone to try something they weren’t ever open to before! The more we include our kids in the process of selecting and cooking our food, the more interested they become in what’s on their plate.

 

(cool) tip: Here are our favorite baltimore area farmer’s markets!