The Wool Fairy of Seaside Farms paid another late night visit to our house recently. Her basket was brimming with a cornucopia of freshly harvested woolen veggies. Since we are in the midst of the fall harvest season, she wanted to ensure that Chi-Chi and Muffy’s pantry was well stocked with a fresh and diverse supply of produce.
Our family has been taking full advantage of the bountiful assortment of fresh, local fruits and veggies available at the many farmers markets this autumn. We have all been feasting like kings, enjoying the mouth-watering selection of natural treats that grace our plates each mealtime. Chi-Chi and Muffy have been devouring every last morsel of these healthy, wholesome foods. As a health-conscious, doting mommy, the phrase, “More please!” is music to my ears!
I am proud to be setting a positive example to my children during these formative years. Not only are they eating a varied and nutritious diet to support strong, healthy growth, they are also learning the ins and outs of adopting a healthy lifestyle. Involving the little ones in our shopping trips helps them gain a better appreciation for the foods we consume and teaches them the benefits of buying local and organic when possible. To my delight, Chi-Chi has been enthusiastically re-enacting our shopping expeditions, regularly engaging in imaginary trips to the market for food to feed the family. As I quietly observe his play scenarios, I marvel at his creative imagination and his striking ability to learn by example. Chi-Chi may not be aware of it, but through his play, he is practicing and developing important skills and values that will serve him throughout his life.
I’ve also learned that presenting my children with healthy play food is a fun way to plant the seed for future healthy eating and lifestyle habits. On a recent trip to a department store, I was horrified to discover a set of play food depicting the offerings of a well-known fast food restaurant. In light of the rising childhood obesity rates, we must question the message this sends to our children. I am pleased to see my little ones playing with more appropriate options including strawberries, carrots, cucumbers and pears. (I will admit to making an irresistible cookie, but at least it was oatmeal raisin!) As Chi-Chi prepares an elaborate concoction of eggplant, mushroom soup, Muffy munches happily on a leaf of lettuce. These natural, open-ended toys offer endless opportunities for these young creative minds while promoting a diet rich in fresh produce!
Who knows what woolen treats our play-food obsessed fairy will supply on her next visit. You may see her wandering the booths on your next trip to the farmers market, seeking inspiration!