Everybody needs food to survive so why not learn more about where your food comes from and experiment with making some things at home!
1. Talk to your local butcher.
Ask them if they prefer grass or grain fed beef. You could even ask what their favorite cut of meat is and how they prepare it.
2. Head to farmers’ markets.
This is a great way to get fresh produce and interact with area farmers.
3. Contact a farmer association in your state.
Some examples of these associations would be farm bureau, extension offices, commodity groups, etc. You could ask about meeting a local farmer or tour a local farm.
4. Investigate nutrition labels on the USDA website.
This is an easy way to figure out what is really in your food and decipher some of those words you may not understand.
5. Start buying fresh fruits and veggies whenever possible.
The fresher the better!
6. If you have the space, raise your own chickens.
Typical hens lay daily, making a reliable source for eggs.
7. Grow herbs inside during the winter.
Basil, chives, cilantro, and parsley are commonly used herbs. Being able to get them from your own kitchen instead of the store is a much more convenient way to boost the flavor of some dishes.
8. Make your own butter.
Who doesn’t love butter? Making your own at home would be a great way to teach your kids about everything that we get from cows: butter, yogurt, ice cream, milk, etc.
9. Bake your own bread.
There is nothing better than warm, fresh-baked bread coming out of the oven. You could even spread some of your homemade butter on it as toast!
Peanut butter is surprisingly easy to make, by making your own you know exactly what you are eating. If you eat enough of it, it would definitely be worth your while in terms of money.
11. Start gardening to grow your own vegetables.
Green beans, cucumbers, leaf lettuce, and tomatoes are all common vegetables to garden. If you don’t have a yard big enough for a traditional garden tomatoes can be grown on the patio!
12. Can your own pickles.
You can make some of your own pickles with cucumbers out of the garden. Most stores sell pre-packaged mixes so don’t worry if you don’t have any recipes.
13. Make your own salsa.
If there is something that you don’t like about restaurant or store bought salsa this gives you the opportunity to make it exactly how you and your family like it!
14. Order less takeout.
Takeout usually has more sodium and fat than home-cooked meals. Try making your own fried rice or pizza.
15. If you have a new baby make your own baby food.
Not only is it healthier and fresher, but it can also be easily tailored to what your baby likes.
16. Invite your kids to cook with you.
Kids can help you wash produce, stir the pot, season the food, and even help you taste test. Getting them cooking gets them interested in food and may make them more adventurous eaters.
17. Go pick apples, pumpkins, peaches, berries, etc. at a local orchard when they’re in season.
This is a great way to get your whole family outside and spend some quality time together!
Kids love applesauce and by making it at home you can control how much sugar goes into it.
19. Make some homemade grape juice.
Grape juice is the beverage of choice for most kids and if they can help make it they will be even more excited to drink it.
This page has a lot of helpful information about nutrition, meal planning, and food assistance programs.
21. Learn about different kinds of sugars.
Not all sugars are the same, some sugars work better in certain recipes.
22. Research the My Plate Program with your kids.
Teaching your kids about healthy eating can help reduce the risk of childhood obesity.
23. Pop your own popcorn instead of buying it in the grocery store.
Popcorn that you pop yourself tastes 100 times better than the microwaveable bags…well unless you burn it!
24. Make your own sausage.
My family does this every year and it is a blast! It can also be scaled down to fit individual needs.
25. Research GMOs from reliable sources such as http://watchusgrow.com/.
GMOs are a huge controversy in today’s society, by educating yourself you will be able to sort fact from fiction.
Missouri State University Student