The Tiny Table

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Farmers Markets: Navigating with a Toddler

Saturday mornings are special for the Mullins Girls. We leave Daddy at home and hit up our local farmers market with our good friend Sara from Solid Gold Eats. Part of the charm of the farmers market is teaching Holly about food. There is also the routine and connecting with the community. It feels good to buy real food from real people. 

Each week, I see general complaints on Twitter and Facebook that the market is too crowded, there are too many kids in strollers, or the selection is sub par. Of course, those complaints roll in hours after the market has been open. Here are my tips for a successful trip to your local farmers market.

Be Prepared
Use this handy dandy calendar to know what’s in season. Strawberries are gone. Tomatoes are taking over the world. Have an idea of what recipes you’ll be making and shop accordingly. 


Setting an alarm on a Saturday morning isn’t fun. I know. What is fun? Snagging the small first offering of heirloom tomatoes from the Amish produce stand. Trying to push a stroller through throngs of people AND getting produce isn’t my idea of a good time. So we go right when the market opens with no hassles.

Entertain the Kid
Holly and I have a routine. We get to the market and hit up A Taste of Philly for a pretzel. This keeps her happy, munching, and occupied while we shop.


The Stroller
Some people’s aversion to the stroller is only rivaled by their primordial fear of Brussels Sprouts. In the case of the farmers market, a stroller can be your best friend. I have a cup holder for coffee, cargo space for sweet corn and whatever else we pick up. So in this case, go with the stroller.

The farmers markets are a great way for Holly and I to spend some one on one time together and treat ourselves without feeling guilty about it. I love seeing her point out food and interact with those around us. 

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4 thoughts on “Farmers Markets: Navigating with a Toddler

  1. As a local farmer, let me thank you for supporting your local farmers and farmer’s markets. It’s great to see you supporting this choice yourself as well as bringing your child and introducing them to this awareness and lifestyle as well.

    • Thank you so much for your reply! It’s so important to me to know where my food comes from and have my child see it first hand. Everyday we take a look at our tomatoes to see how they are growing, and Holly notices if one is missing! Kids are much brighter than we give them credit for – starting her out now! We need to visit a farm sometime!

  2. Love this blog post! My wife and I frequent farmers markets frequently with our two kids. We always arrive early to miss the crowds. Our favorite market has a play structure to keep the kids entertained, while one of us shops. Then once the kids are worn out, we take a stroll through once again as a family. We always treat the kids to a treat, usually some fresh fruit.

    • Portland is always ranked in the lists of “best farmers markets” so enjoy them! If we teach our girls how awesome real food is, one day they’ll be running the show! Love it.

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