Berries are great for kids. They love picking them from the garden and best of all they love eating them too! We have spent a fair amount of time this summer outside in various gardens and berry patches picking and gorging ourselves on fresh berries and Little Miss B has had a ball! Berry picking is a fun activity that our whole family enjoys – even Master D enjoys observing from the baby carrier.
If you are planning on berry picking with your kids here are some tips to make it fun and enjoyable:
- Pick in the cooler parts of the day if possible. Not only will it be more comfortable for you and the kids, the berries will taste and keep better if they are cool.
- Wear protective clothing, hats and footwear to protect against the sun and any berry plants that may prickle such as raspberries.
- Take along containers to collect the berries in. Kids like to have their own so make sure they have a small one they can fill themselves (if any actually make it in before being eaten). Buckets are a great option as they have a handle kids can hold on to.
- Show kids the correct way to pick each type of berry and how to recognise if the fruit is ripe enough to collect.
- Pack a spare pair of clothes and wipes in case you end up with berry juice everywhere.
- Take a cooler bag along with you to keep the berries cool for the trip home.
If you don’t know someone with a berry patch have a look at the Pick Your Own website for different sites around Australia (and the world). Do ring or email ahead though to ensure the farm is open – it is very frustrating to drive a long distance to discover the place you are intending to visit is closed. If you live in Victoria, I highly recommend Habitat Nursery and Orchards in Warburton. Wolfgang and Anna are a lovely couple who have a great range of fruit and nuts to pick. We also had a great time picking strawberries at The Berry Patch in Turners Beach, Tasmania during our recent holiday and would recommend a visit.
Kids usually love to eat fresh berries just as they are but if you are after other ideas consider using them in a fruit salad, as a topping on pancakes, making blueberry muffins or even dipping them in chocolate for an extra special treat.
How does your family like to eat their berries?