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Curing Picky Eater Syndrome: 10 ways to get kids to eat real, healthy food

picky eaters

It’s amazing what kids will eat when they' re on the farm or in a garden — digging carrots from the earth, ripping beans from the plant (and taking the leaves with them), picking sugar snap peas, and pulling tomatoes from the vine. Kids love to grow their own food, too, like potted herbs in the kitchen, radish seed sprouts, and patio pepper plants. Last summer I overheard a youngster say, “I love cherry tomatoes, especially the little yellow ones!”

 

Too good to be true? It’s totally not. Getting kids to eat healthy real food is not that difficult. There are many ways to break the "picky eater syndrome," some will work for your kiddo better than others but I’ve found there are a few key steps that really help:  

 

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Paleo vs. Vegan: What side are you on?

paleo vegan

When I was about fifteen years old, I was a “red meat vegetarian,” because I wanted to be something but didn’t want to be a vegetarian. I just knew that something about a conventional omnivore diet felt boring to me, as though I needed the way I ate to say something about who I was. Like most things at that time, I dropped it after several months and just ate whatever I wanted for a number of years before temporarily swearing off meat entirely. 

 

During that time I often felt off, and even more often felt very ill, until I became acquainted with Paleo.

 

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Make it Local: The perfect Bloody Mary

bloody mary

Culinary-minded Taylor Ellingson kicks off one of Simple, Good & Tasty's new sections, Make It Local, in which our writers attempt everyday dishes and drinks with the challenge of creating an all-local recipe. With spring and summer brunches just ahead, it seemed only fitting to start with a drink that features food on a stick. 

 

Let's be honest — it's just not brunch without a little somethin' somethin' to take the edge off from last night. Whether it's a mimosa, a Summit Saga, or a Bloody Mary, the proper drink turns breakfast into brunch. So in preparation for your next stretch of mid-morning lounge time, challenge yourself: can you make a Bloody out of only local ingredients? Here's my attempt.

 

Step one: the drink

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Kitchen DIY: Making cultured butter

Mmm…homemade butter

The first time I made homemade butter I was eight years old, sitting in a circle in Mrs. Peterson’s second-grade class, passing around a quart jar filled with fresh cream from a fourth-grade girl’s family dairy farm. 

 

Each student shook the jar to exhaustion, and then passed it to the next. Hand-to-hand, that jar moved around the circle until it suddenly transformed. Mrs. Peterson spread a bit of that golden butter onto a saltine cracker for each of us to try. It was amazing! 

 

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Backyard Produce Section: Local resources for growing your own grub

Radishes all in a row

It might be hard to envision warm breezes and budding trees at the moment, but believe it or not, the growing season will be upon us before we know it. If you're hoping to travel no further than your own backyard for juicy tomatoes or fresh basil this year, now is the time to start planning!

 

Whether you're brand new to vegetable gardening or a have a seasoned green thumb, whether you're planting a couple of small barrels in your backyard or taking on a community garden, chances are you’ll need to buy or learn something this season. Here are four gardener-approved resources that will help you every step of the way, from soil testing to selecting the right seeds and compost to finally preserving your hard-earned bounty and saving seeds for next year. 

 

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Farm-Sized Classrooms: Sandbox Cooperative provides a new model for young food entrepreneurs

Sandbox Cooperative

After such a deep winter, it was surprising to see almost a dozen people happily pruning trees in early March, wearing light sweaters and sunglasses, and most importantly, showing palpable joy in the task. 

 

For me, there was an extra level of happiness during the event, since the workshop was Sandbox Cooperative’s kickoff for the "rent your own farm classroom" program that aims to provide farmland and resources for sustainability-focused workshops. Along with co-founders Libby London, Josh Adrian, and Jeny Lai, I envisioned a place where people working toward a healthier food system would have room to play and create — think of it as a farm-sized sandbox — and weren't hindered by small classroom space. 

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Farmers Market Fix: 10 must-grab picks from Mill City's next indoor market

Mill City Farmers Market

Although we seem to be on the other side of the Polar Vortex, all those mini-mountains along the sidewalks remind us that summer vegetables are still months away. Thankfully, winter farmers markets continue to give us a taste of those salad days. With the Mill City Farmers Market about to hold their next indoor market, we asked marketing manager Kate Heilmann to give us her list of 10 not-to-be-missed items. 

 

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Eat Local, Fund Local: Four tasty Kickstarter campaigns bring more flavor to the Cities

Mmm, pizza

Kickstarter has been a boon to an array of creative businesses, from small arts organizations to dance troupes to filmmakers — recently, it expanded to include more categories, such as food businesses and farming enterprises, and the result is delicious. 

 

Started in 2009, the site is a crowdfunding platform where funders pledge to support a specific project within a certain timeframe. The fledgling enterprises set the dollar goal, and if pledges meet that amount by the deadline, they get the funds. If not, the venture goes unfunded. 

 

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