My name is Lisa Tsakos, Registered Holistic Nutritional Consultant, corporate speaker and author. This blog provides professional advice from a nutrition and weight loss expert (me!) about corporate and family health. Here you'll find recipes and articles that address work-related challenges like eating on-the-go and maximizing your productivity with the right foods. You'll also find out about how you can help your children develop strong immune systems and healthy bodies. As a nutrition instructor, I often found myself thinking, "When I have kids, this is how I will feed them." With two toddlers, I have the opportunity to practice what I have been preaching and to try out my theories. So far, they seem to be working! Follow me on my journey and also on Twitter @NuVitalityHW.

1 Jul 2014

Teaching kids about food from farm to table

In the spirit of the 2014 strawberry season, I feel inspired to re-publish this - one of my favourite posts: 

At an innocent young age, my husband was asked where milk comes from. He replied, "the store." 

As a child, my father lived in a tiny Greek village. His family raised goats, from which they drank fresh goat milk and made cheese and butter. I grew up hearing stories about his natural upbringing (trying to imagine life without indoor plumbing and electricity) and have been lucky enough to visit his village to see for myself the fig tree that he and his siblings slept in and the mountain springs from which they filled buckets of water daily. Feeding one's family was hard work (especially when you have 9 kids!). My father has never lost his appreciation for the effort it takes to create a loaf of bread and to this day, has a hard time wasting food.

Living in a big city where food is plentiful and taken for granted, it's important to consider how our food got to the table. It's a priority in our family. After all, if we are to produce future generations of health- and environmentally-conscious people, our kids must learn about the origins of their food.

Since Olivia and Ben were born, they've made weekly visits to a little farm where they can nuzzle friendly goats and have staring contents with cows and sheep. They have watched goats and cows being milked, newborn piglets grow into full-sized pigs, and unlike many adults, they know the difference between a lamb and a sheep! 

In the summer, Olivia loves to explore my dad's enormous vegetable garden and he teaches her about every plant and herb (and of course, she wants to taste everything!). Yesterday we took the kids strawberry picking on an organic farm. Olivia got right into it, intent on collecting enough perfect strawberries to fill her yellow Easter basket. Because it was an organic farm, I wasn't concerned about her tasting the unwashed strawberries (in fact, strawberries don't have to be washed unless there is dirt on them. I would never consider not washing strawberries that were not organic!). 

Today we ate organic yogurt topped with fresh strawberries, made strawberry smoothies, strawberry-banana popsicles, froze bags and bags (and more bags) for muffins and post-strawberry season smoothies, and shared as many as we could with our neighbours. Organic strawberries begin to soften the minute they're picked. No time to lose! 

Tomorrow, we'll try this recipe for Greek Yogurt Popsicles that I found on Liberte's website.

Greek Yogurt Popsicles
3 cups 2% Greek yogurt 
¾ cups raw honey 
1 ½ cups fresh strawberries

Stir the ingredients together, pour into BPA-free popsicle molds, freeze, and enjoy! Makes 6 popsicles.

I'll let you know how they turn out!