Deepen your child’s understanding of food and where it comes from
Discovery Place Kids Huntersville
We’re pretty sure the world is divided into two teams… those that loathe taking their kids to the grocery store and those that love it.
Enter Discovery Place Kids Town Market to negotiate the peace.
The Town Market is part of the I Can Be Healthy exhibition. Thanks to our friends at Publix its’ shelves are packed with everything tiny hands can reach and their bellies and minds desire.
Shopping through the Museum’s aisles is pleasurable (cue: gasp). Little friends can grab a cart and set off to check-off their list of essentials while learning a thing or two about where they come from.
So, what can the Town Market do for you? Well, yes, that Melissa and Doug cart is not scuffing your floors at home – bonus - but much more importantly kids are making decisions; considering costs, gaining an understanding of how and where food is produced and having fun.
Beyond reading and understanding food labels, becoming familiar with the food industry and feeling empowered to make choices helps even the youngest of visitors develop a desire for quality sustenance.
From the state-of-the-art digital cash registers that allow kids to scan items (yes, it even beeps) to the chance to choose the role of customer or cashier, kids are introduced not just to how much things cost but their value.
The value of a product is addressed in a financial and human way and also with a nod to our many animal friends that make food ‘happen’. The Market includes an area about pollination in the flower department and a reminder that without well-cared for chickens there would be no eggs in the morning.
The complexity of producing food is presented in an easy-to-understand visual journey with seeds, salts and spices all playing their part to educate your child on how they get from the farm to the table.
Remember that risk-taking isn’t only for swinging in trees or finally tackling the big slide. If you want nutrition-conscious and competent junior chefs get them involved with food at an early age in a meaningful way.
Many children have never stepped on a farm, and modern agriculture and what we know and expect from our food is changing rapidly.
Where food is farmed is illustrated on one of the walls of the Market with a map showing where across the States particular farming industries tend to be – there’s also a special focus on Carolina crops.
Taking time with your child to explore the food road map reinforces the idea that food isn’t grown in a box and creates awareness and appreciation for who is working to bring food to your local market.
Studies show when kids are informed about food sources, their interest in healthy eating habitats, the environment and the value of fresh produce increases.
Keep it Fresh
A great way to continue learning is to visit your local farmer’s markets. We are lucky to have some really awesome markets in the Lake Norman area including the Huntersville Grower’s Market and the Davidson Farmer’s Market.
Many people don’t realize these community organizations are non-profit and mission driven.
The Grower’s Market provides locally-grown food product to sustain farmers in Huntersville and the surrounding areas and to strengthen a sense of community.
In Huntersville there is a heavy focus on making sure you are getting the freshest and most in season produce. Remind your tiny shoppers that buying produce that is in season guarantees the best flavor and taste.
Check out this handy dandy chart to see what’s in season and don’t forget to look for special days (Strawberries Day and Spicy Day are always very popular).
The Huntersville Farmer’s Market opens on May 11 (2019).
The Davidson Farmer’s Market is a produce-only, year-round market featuring more than 35 farmers and local producers from within a 100-mile radius.
Located just off Main St., the Farmer’s Market offers fruits and vegetables, meats and cheeses produced by sustainable or organic methods. Other agriculturally based products such as breads, eggs, honey, flowers and soaps are also offered.
In Davidson a strong emphasis is placed on nutrition education, musical entertainment, special events and cooking demonstrations, which creates a family-friendly festival feel.