At the Pond When I Was Fishing

Don’t tell him I told you, but he didn’t catch a big fish. And Daddy didn’t kookd it for Dinner.

But what he did get? Was far better than that.

If you know me, you’ll know I love to garden. I’ve roped my boys into the act, and it’s something we all like to do together. Studies show that kids who grow their own fruits and veggies eat more fruits and veggies. Know what I found? It’s true! No, my boys aren’t begging for Brussels sprouts for their afternoon snack, but they do find that for some strange reason, those carrots they grow taste especially delicious. That time they spent tending their plants – weeding and watering and nurturing little seedlings – made a difference in how they related to the food on their plates. Strange but true.

What does gardening have to do with fish being kookd for Dinner?

Modern kids (well, for that matter, many people of all ages these days) are often all too disconnected from their food’s origins…like those prepackaged items in the meat and dairy aisle. If you aren’t a farmer or hunter, you very likely don’t have a lot of first-hand experience as to what it takes to get filet mignon (or chicken thighs, sour cream, ground turkey, salmon, cheese, milk, etc.) to your grocery store’s refrigerator section.

Enter fishing! Step back for a moment and consider why humans started fishing in the first place. It wasn’t to spend quality time with your family or unplug from hectic life; it was for food. Fishing is unique in that it offers us “modern” folk a tangible way connect with this reality; for kids, it can be an especially awesome aha moment.

“You know, son, we’re going to be releasing these fish back into the water. Even if we caught some big enough to keep, we don’t need them for food, and that way people can continue to fish. Plus it takes a lot of work to prepare them to eat. First you have to clean them and gut them, then we cut them into fillets that are the right size to cook. It’s a lot of work just to do one fish.”

That’s a whole lotta lesson right there.

Even if Daddy didn’t kookd a Big Fish for Dinner.

All of this plus quality time spent with my family while we unplugged from our hectic life? That, my friends, is an afternoon well spent.

This post was provided by Babble.

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Stephanie Vatalaro

Stephanie Vatalaro

Stephanie Vatalaro is vice president of communications for the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation and its Take Me Fishing and Vamos A Pescar campaigns where she works to recruit newcomers to recreational fishing and boating and increase awareness of aquatic conservation. Stephanie grew up in the Florida Keys as the daughter of a flats fishing guide. Outside of work, you can find her fishing and boating with her family on the Potomac River in the Northern Neck of Virginia.