My kid is turning into a vegetarian. I’m serious. Sonny is having this phase where meat is not at all delicious. Chicken? Meh, I’ll take it or leave it, Mom. Steak or roast beef? No way! The only thing he’ll eat without a fight is fish. He loves any type of fish. Oh, and hot dogs. But I’m a firm believer in that if I gave him tofu dogs, he’d eat those as well. I think it’s just the fun of shape of a lovely frankfurter. Luckily, we took weekly trips to a place where he could explore he taste buds on the finest fruits and veggies a vegetarian/pescetarian/hop-dogitarian would love.
This summer, I tried to make an effort to get the kids to the Farmers Markets at least once a week. I say “try” since the weather (and not-so well behaved kids) prevented us from going every single Friday. But, when we did, it was always an experience.
While I wore the Duchess on my back and plopped a hat on my head, Sonny was able to walk around the whole Market. His mission, if he chose to accept it, was to find one new fruit and vegetable to try each week. Some weeks he tried to con me into get two fruits, or two veggies, but I told him the importance of sticking to a mission. He quickly got the hang of it.
This particular week, we saw a plethora of nature’s bounty; organic corn, nectarines, sugar plums, beets and even garlic scapes. While he was excited about the amount of choice there was, my little scientist was most excited about interrogating the farmers. He was full of questions about their harvest:
“Where is your farm?”
“How do these grow?”
“Is it a fruit or a vegetable?”
I usually cut off my mad scientist after a few questions, but I realized that the farmers were enticed by him and his inquisitiveness. Also, my kids seemed to be the only children in the whole market.
After about an hour, Sonny had whittled his choices down to garlic scapes and sugar plums. After asking the farmer how to prepare scapes (perfect in a stir fry or sliced on a bias and added to mixed veggies), we paid and were on own way.
While I designed our weekly outings as a cheap way to entertain my kids, it’s turned into a scavenger hunt of delightfulness. Each week we go, we discover something new, whether it’s through taste or through the intrepid amount of questions my son asks the farmers. So, if my dear boy is turning into a vegetarian, we’ll be prepared. I mean, the sugar plums weren’t that bad. Please don’t tell him I snuck one. Or three.