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To Market, To Market

April 14, 2015

What rocks about being a mom in LA is that even grocery shopping is an opportunity to teach my boy something new and for the two of us to connect. The Farmer’s Markets in Los Angeles are legendary and something I have fantasized about for years back in Canada. Now I am lucky enough to visit them weekly – Santa Monica on Wednesdays and Malibu on Sundays are our go-to spots.

From the start, Alexander has been an active participant by carrying our designated market money, keeping me on budget and chatting up the vendors. It has been a great way to teach him about basic math, manners, growing food and the importance of shopping local. Plus we eat the best produce, meat and dairy out there at a fraction of supermarket prices. It’s totally a win-win all around!

Here are some easy tips for making the market fun and a teachable moment:

Give your child their own money in a wallet

Have them put it in their wallet and count it prior. If your child likes some extra help, bring a calculator with you so they can deduct as they go. Otherwise just walk them through it and the vendors will totally get in on the game.

Have them carry their own goods

Carrying their own produce and goods in a backpack or rolling bag will give them a sense of ownership over the food.

Take a look at recipes for the week together

When you shop, they will know what they are looking to buy and are keen to eat it when it’s prepared.

Talk about what’s in season

Have them taste as much as they can. If you want them to eat Kale, then they need to grow it or shop for it.

Try out various markets but then pick your faves

Kids can form relationships with the vendors if you go weekly and begin to talk about where the food is coming from and learn to connect with grown-ups and learn to ask for what they want. Plus you often get a better deal as a regular.

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