Amy Taylor-Kabbaz, founder of SeekActLove, has the scoop on how to raise eco-aware kids, even if you live in the heart of the city.
I long for my children to appreciate good, healthy food, and I dream of them growing up with a herb garden on the windowsill and an understanding of the importance of organic food and grass-fed meat. But it can be a challenge if you live in the middle of a city where everything comes in a packet and backyards are tiny and paved, or non-existent. Scarily, a 2012 study found 27 percent of Australian grade six children thought
yoghurt grew on trees. Even worse, in a hypothetical lunch-box of bread, cheese and a banana, only 45 percent of them could identify all three as originating from farms.
These are my top tips:
* Make farmers’ markets a part of your weekend family ritual. Take your little ones amongst the produce, talk to the growers, and explain where the food, flowers, and meats come from.
* Get kids in the kitchen for food preparation. Bonus: studies show that children who get involved in growing and prepping produce are more likely to try different foods.
* Start a herb garden or veggie patch. Even the smallest apartment has room for a few pots. (Check out the fantastic initiative by Living Fundraisers below.)
* Organise a farm-stay holiday. And get out of the city on weekends and show your children this amazing country of ours!
Ditch the chocolate drive!
Rachel Taylor is co-founder of Living Fundraisers, which specialises in healthy, family-friendly fundraising products like herb, veggie and fruit growing kits.
How did Living Fundraisers come about? Rebeka and I met doing the Master of Entrepreneurship at Swinburne, where we did an assignment together on giving schools a healthier, eco-friendly option to traditional school chocolate drives. We discovered we both wanted to create a business with positive social impact and to help stem the tide of the rising obesity epidemic. We launched the business a few months later on a wish
and a prayer and began by making the products ourselves at home on a kitchen table.
How does it work? In much the same way as chocolate drives: families are given a set of products to on-sell to friends, family and colleagues, and the school keeps a percentage of the sale price. Every day we get calls from grateful parents thanking us for giving their school a break from the dreaded chocolates. Our growing kits are designed for anyone, regardless of age, skill, or experience. Even if you live in an
apartment, you can grow fresh herbs with our special grow-in-the-bag pouches.
How can schools and parents get involved? www.livingfundraisers.com.au, or call 1300 848 993