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Foraging is something that my kiddies and I love doing together. They are both big foodies and really enjoy picking their own food. I thought I’d put together some top tips for foraging with kids.
Foraging with Kids
Bags, Bags, Bags
Before you go make sure you have a handful of plastic bags with you. You never know how much free food you might find.
Find your route
It’s a good idea to do a pre-run before anything is ready to pick that way you know where everything is and when you actually go a pick them it makes it a lot easier and faster. Less chance of them getting bored that way.
Have a check first policy
Make it very clear to the little ones that they MUST NOT put anything in their mouth without first checking with you. Explain that if they eat the wrong thing then it will give them tummy ache. If you are unsure of what something is then take a picture of it and go home and look it up. A lot of things look very similar to something else. You don’t want to inadvertently poison everyone.
Dress Them Appropriately
As much as they would love to wear their pink plastic ‘clippy cloppy’ shoes with matching handbag and sparkly tiara, it’s just going to make the walk hard work. If they are comfortable you may be able to limit the amount of tantrums or whining that can occur.
Get them involved
The more fun and interesting you make the trip then the more interested they will be. Ask them to spot things for you and lift them up so they can pick them themselves. You can even print and laminate pictures of the fruits you are looking for so they can hold it as you go along on your journey.
If your children are quite young then be prepared for the trip to take awhile. Remember they only have little legs and if they are anything like mine they will want to stop every 5 minutes to thoroughly examine every rock, leaf and insect that they find.
Avoid The Roadside
Obviously for safety reasons you should avoid foraging near busy roads with little ones. Also picking food here should be avoided because the fruit could have been contaminated with pollution from the vehicles.
Always Stick To Footpaths
Don’t be tempted to venture off into the unknown, for one you might get lost and two it’s illegal to pick fruit on private land and you’d be trespassing. Although your little ones would probably jump at the idea of a ride in a police car, I’m sure you wouldn’t.
Only Pick What You Need
Never strip a plant or bush completely bare, explain to your children that you must leave some food for the animals.
Finish what you started
Don’t let the kids involvement stop at the picking. Get them helping you to cook or prepare your free food when you get home. Then let them eat it.
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