As adults we understand the effects of our lifestyle. We can see how eating healthy foods makes a difference in the way we feel and function. We know the responsible things to do are Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. But, what about our kids?
My parents raised me and my seven siblings on a very healthy diet of whole foods. We made or bought whole wheat; everything from bread to cookies. We drank real fruit juice and ate real cheese. Dad refused to buy things like cheap hotdogs, bologna, and processed lunch meats. We were taught to be responsible with all our resources which meant not wasting food and supplies, taking care of our tools, cars, and home and of course, never littering.
We gardened almost every year, canning or freezing enough to last most of the year. We raised our own meat, and one year we even grew our own grain.
Not every family has the privilege of raising their kids on a farm, or even growing a few plants on their porch. But, I don’t believe that they can’t Grow Green Kids! Getting your kids involved in your green lifestyle will not only teach them responsible habits, but it will make life easier for you too.
Kids can help sort items for recycling, pick up trash at the park and along roadways (Adopt A Highway is a great program!) and be taught to always put their trash in the proper receptacles instead of tossing it on the ground. They can also help choose produce at the farmer’s market or grocery store. Kids like taking part in decision making and they’ll be proud to eat and share what they’ve picked out. Then let them help bag the groceries and carry them out, in reusable bags of course!
My son is only two, but he loves most fruits and vegetables. He points them out and calls them by name while we’re shopping. Sometimes he’ll ask for something specific and I try to oblige if it’s something healthy!
I’m also teaching him to compost. He doesn’t know which items to compost yet, but he likes helping me take the compost out to the pile at Grandma’s house. As he gets older I’ll teach him how it works.