My family loves to eat seafood. Even the boys will chow down on a thick grilled tuna steak. My husband, though, is rather particular about eating fish as fresh as possible. I’ll admit that I have become pretty particular about that as well. Because of this, we don’t eat a lot of seafood when we are at home, four hours from the ocean. Frozen fish just isn’t the same and fresh fish is usually cost-prohibitive.
When we are at the beach it is a different story. One of our favorite parts of a beach vacation is being able to take advantage of all of the FRESH seafood! We eat out a couple of times, but it’s also really nice to be able to go to the market and buy that night’s fish to prepare for dinner. The boats have just come in, the fish is prepared for the market, and then it’s off to our beach house to be enjoyed that evening. It’s a beautiful thing.
Our kids are almost always around, if not involved, when we are shopping for groceries or cooking meals. This is an important part of our family’s food culture–I believe it is an important factor in why they are such good, healthy eaters. They are a part of meal time, from start to finish. I once saw an episode of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution in which he was visiting elementary schools to talk to the kids about food, specifically produce. It was really sad to see how children were not able to identify a tomato, much less a common potato. I know it can be really crazy and it isn’t always practical, but bringing children to the market or grocery store can be a great opportunity to talk about all the incredible diversity of food available to us in America. Even better, though admittedly much less frequent, is taking children to the source itself of the food. Go visit a dairy farm and show them where we get milk. Visit a strawberry farm and pick a basket of berries. Visit a vegetable farm and admire the rows and rows of vine-ripened produce. Or the next time you’re at the beach, take your kids down to the docks and watch the fishermen unload their bounties of fish.
We got to do just that yesterday. We missed a lot of the action at the docks since we waited for the kids to wake up for their naps, but it was still a lot of fun. After visiting the docks, we went to a local restaurant on the water. Fresh fish for dinner, please!