This post comes to us courtesy of writer and Williams-Sonoma creative consultant Laura Martin Bacon.
Food Day is all about eating real. It’s a day to celebrate the possibilities of fresh fruits, newly harvested vegetables, healthy whole grains – and support the hardworking farmers who grow them.
According to the folks at Food Day, “our goal is nothing less than to transform the American diet—to inspire a broad movement involving people from every corner of our land who want healthy, affordable food produced in a sustainable, humane way. In other words, we want America to eat real. We want to get Americans cooking real food for their families again.”
A great mission for families: help kids get real about food by using their imaginations.
Here are a few of my favorite ways to make good food fun:
When everyone has time to help with dinner, consider making a food you would normally buy – like ricotta cheese, pasta, bread or ice cream. You can also teach kids how to make healthy versions of fast food favorites like pizza or french fries. Turn the prep into a fun learning experience for the whole family.
Share some stories
While you’re cooking, encourage family members to tell their favorite food stories, including best, worst, strangest and funniest experiences. It’s also the perfect time to share heirloom recipes (and their stories) with your kids. If kids are up for it, have them write down stories their own children can read some day.
The kitchen is the perfect place to discover new flavors with your family. Take advantage of a leisurely Sunday afternoon to learn about the signature recipes and food traditions of different countries. For fun food history, visit the Food Timeline.
Take a field trip
If you’ve got extra time before dinner, spend an hour or two exploring an ethnic foods shop, farmers’ market, community garden, local farm – or the cookbook section at your local library or bookstore. You can also take a virtual trip to our nation’s capital at What’s Cooking Uncle Sam.
As you prepare meals with the family, make an effort to learn about where different foods come from as you trace their journey from source to table. It’s also fun to discover the science behind foods – like what makes dough rise. A great online place to explore culinary hows and whys is How Stuff Works.
With a few fresh ingredients and a little imagination, every day can be Food Day – just add kids!
About the author: Laura is a longtime writer and creative consultant for Williams-Sonoma and other well-known entities. She’s also the Culinary Creative Director of DooF (“food” backwards), an organization that uses multi-media entertainment, education and live events to help kids and families discover the magic of food. DooF explores every aspect of food – from flavors, history, science and cultural traditions to the exciting journey from source-to-table. Laura’s mission: to make good food fun – at home, in the classroom and beyond.
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@Valleri: It’s so cool that you’re able to “make it from scratch” better AND faster — I’d love to know how you do it! And I agree: good food tastes even better when you know where it comes from for me, fresh fruits & veggies never feel healthier than when I’ve picked ’em myself).
I’m a “make it from scratch” person. Always have been. I don’t like mystery food… where it’s been, what’s in it, etc. I can make it taste better and get it on the table just as fast.