Can raising animals help picky eaters? You bet it can! By teaching the new generation about where their food comes from we will raise adventurous eaters and healthy individuals.
I can’t even count the number of times I’ve heard someone ask if you can’t have eggs because you are dairy free. Let that sink in a minute. Eggs…from chickens. That has nothing to do with dairy. It’s a completely different animal! Unless they know a secret I don’t and can milk a chicken!
What’s really sad is that it is adults asking this. Adults. That don’t know eggs are not dairy. Just because they are close together in a grocery store (as if that means anything about where they come from!). That doesn’t bode well for the future of our children. Food knowledge is not being passed down.
Kids have no idea where their food comes from or why it even matters.
This needs to change. I think food education (about REAL food) should be taught in schools and should be fundamental knowledge. It’s hard to make good choices about how and what you eat when you don’t even know there is a choice to make.
Parents are Responsible for Food Knowledge
It is up to parents to turn this around. Because let’s face it – kids are bombarded with neon-colored packaged junk everywhere they turn. From a very young age my kids help in the garden, planting, weeding, harvesting. They also help in the kitchen (with their skills from Kids Cook Real Food) preparing food from scratch. And they help raise animals.
Right now we just have chickens. We hope to expand to other animals in the future. But for now we are enjoying our little flock.
My seven year old feeds the chickens and collects the eggs every day. All of the kids like to help care for our hens. They are learning by first-hand experience.
Raising Healthy Chickens
But I am adding a new tool for learning. I recently received the book Proven Techniques for Keeping Healthy Chickens by Carissa Bonham.
It is a great resource for all of your chicken questions. And I love how easy it is to read! Every subject has one page (kind of like a daily devotional). So you can quickly browse the whole book or go right to the topic you want and easily find the answer you need.
Since my oldest two can read they will be reading this book to give them a better understanding of chicken care. We have some chickens that are molting. So I’m going to let my kids use this book to figure out how we can help the hens through it.
Prevent Picky Eaters
Not only does this give them knowledge and a better understanding of how to care for God’s creation, it helps them not be picky eaters.
My kids know all the work that goes into raising healthy eggs. They appreciate the nutritional value. And they know not to be wasteful. For them it’s not just about food on the plate. It’s everything that goes into getting the food there.
The same holds true for our garden produce and our apples. A jar of home-canned applesauce isn’t just applesauce. It’s pruning trees, picking apples, making and canning the sauce.
I hope to instill an appreciation and love for well-raised food in my children. They can turn up their noses at processed pseudo-foods. But when it comes to real, nourishing food they will be the farthest thing from picky eaters.
How You Can Raise Adventurous Eaters
Whether or not you raise your own food or animals, it’s important that your kids know where their food comes from. You can visit a local farm or even just try growing a tomato plant in a pot.
And grab some good books about raising animals like Carissa’s Proven Techniques for Keeping Healthy Chickens. Your kids will learn a lot. And the pictures are so cute. Who doesn’t love page after page of adorable chickens and eggs?!
I did not grow up farming, so I’ve been learning a lot about chickens myself from this book. Even as the one that mostly only deals with the food once it’s in the house. Carissa’s book taught me about how to properly clean eggs to prevent spreading bacteria. I had no idea you shouldn’t run them under water!
Food knowledge is so important for this new generation. And feeding kids real, nourishing food will improve health and help prevent picky eating.
Whether you’re raising your own chickens or you just want to learn more, check out Carissa’s book here.