My husband and oldest son picking Strawberries at a u-pic farm in 1986

My husband and oldest son picking Strawberries at a u-pic farm in 1986

We tried to raise our boys with an appreciation for food and where it came from. We didn’t know as much about nutrition in the 90’s, as we do now; but, thankfully we instinctively gravitated towards fresh fruits and vegetables. We made a point of taking our kids out to the fields where the food was grown. We did u-pick and spent hours among the rows of strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries and then we’d bring their sweet goodness home and make pies and sauces with them.

We took the boys fishing and taught them about the responsibility of eating what one fished for and in later years hunted for. We wanted them to have a sense of ownership in what they were eating and how they were impacting the environment.

Alex fishing in Lake Washington (1991) and cooking with mom 2012

Alex fishing in Lake Washington (1991) and cooking with mom 2012

And we wanted them to have the experience of growing their own food so we attempted to grow our own corn, strawberries, blueberries, apples and more. Some were successful, others not. Even fewer, like the blueberries, we’re still blessed with an abundant yearly harvest some 20 years after we planted them with our then small children.

My boys love food and while one is still a picky eater in his 20’s, he’s learning to be more adventurous. Our older son travels the world and eats some amazing things that while delicacies in their home country, are decidedly revolting to this unappreciative palate.

Brian is an accomplished eater- he'll eat almost anything including things most of us find disgusting but others call local delicacies.

Brian is an accomplished eater- he’ll eat almost anything including things most of us find disgusting but others call local delicacies.

I think we’re all in different places in our food journey and there’s always room to learn and grow and share with others.

Want to help kids and families?

Visit Lunch Break for Kids, a website devoted to helping parents and their kids learn more about how real food can make them healthier, and more importantly, how they can grow stronger as a family. The site is sponsored by the  Chef & Child Foundation (CCF) and the makers of Hidden Valley® Original Ranch® dressings. They’ve come together to promote community-based initiatives encouraging kids and their family’s to pledge a day or a week during the month of October and beyond to support the cause. Their goal is to help communities raise money to support the creation of nutrition-based education materials and well as community outreach projects and grants.

Chefs Outreach to the Community Video

You can also volunteer for a Lunch Break for Kids fundraiser or a Childhood Nutrition Day volunteer program in 20 states across the nation. For the volunteer opportunities and locations, visit their volunteer page. Not one in your area? Start one!

Whether you start the revolution forbetter food at home or in your community, I hope that you do and you’ll know that when you look back on your time as a parent that you did the very best you could for your children and your family. I know I am.

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Hidden Valley® Original Ranch® and provided a sample and information; all opinions are my own.