Written by Elaine O'Connor, Senior Consultant, Communications and Public Affairs

It’s never too early to teach your children about where the food on their plates comes from. And summer, with its bountiful produce, is the perfect time to start. Read our dietitian’s tips.

Do your kids know where their food comes from?

You’d be surprised what some children say when they haven’t had the opportunity to develop food literacy and get hands on experience with growing, planning and preparing food for meals.

Public Health dietitian Nadia Guirguis shares some of their sweet misconceptions in her new article on our Newsroom. Among them: “You mean potatoes don’t come from a box?” “What’s a cabbage?” “I thought yams were only fries?” and “How do you open an egg?”

It’s never too early to teach your children about where the food on their plates comes from: how it grows, what’s good to eat and what has to be done to prepare it. And summer, with its bountiful produce and simple, fresh meals, is the perfect time to start.

Guirguis, in her article, "Potatoes don’t come from a box: Teaching children food literacy for life,"  explains:

Food literacy means having the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to choose, grow, prepare and enjoy food to best support one’s health, community and the environment. Food literacy includes necessary life skills that all of us must have if we are to be healthy. If we don’t know how to choose foods that are good for us or how to prepare them, we can rely heavily on convenience or pre-prepared foods that are high in fat, sugar or salt, and our health will suffer. In this case, we are also more likely to develop heart disease, diabetes or obesity later on in life.

Early childhood through the middle school years is the ideal time for children to learn about food and to gain skills needed in choosing, handling, preparing, and budgeting for it. While both school and home provide opportunities to become food literate, evidence suggests food learning opportunities at home are more effective in the long term in helping children gain the knowledge and the skills needed to become food literate.

Check out the full article on our Newsroom to read five simple tips for getting your kids connected to their food.

After you do, please take our poll.

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