You may have noticed that we’re big fans of foraging here at Bedruthan. Our all-round food foraging aficionado, family man and Red Stuff & Wild chef Adam Clark shares his top tips for tempting the children out on a walk by throwing in a food hunt challenge.
You can download Bedruthan’s food foraging guide here.
- The most important thing to do before eating anything from the wild is to be sure of its identification. Get this message home to your children before you even set foot out the door.
- Lay down your number one rule: they are not to taste anything unless they have double checked with you that it’s safe to eat. See our free food foraging guide for a list of edible wild plants and poisonous plants to avoid.
- Make sure your children understand that not only do they need to be sure that the plant is edible, they also need to ensure that they are picking their edible plants from a safe location – e.g. not from a petrol fume-filled roadside or low down on a path frequented by dog walkers. Again, see our free guide for more information about safe places to pick.
Making it fun:
- Children love a bit of adventure and searching for stuff, so it’s good to set them mini challenges: who can be the first to spot some sea buckthorn?
- Adam leads food foraging walks regularly and says children are usually really good at recognising edible plants, but often forget the names. “I use very simple explanations, lots of repetition of the name – and getting everyone to say the names together usually helps, too.”
- Encourage them all to have a taste. “I’m always amazed at how brave and adventurous children are at trying the plants and flavours,” says Adam. “And even if I‘m warning them that they might find it strong, or not to their taste, they still want to try for themselves.”
- Little titbits of information and historical anecdotes can really help to capture their imaginations – use our free guide.
- Go hunting for the colourful ones. As you know, young children love bright colours and there’s something funny about eating flowers. Search out the bright colours of dandelions, violets, wild garlic, borage, nasturtium. They’re easy to spot and are varied when it comes to flavour.
- When you get home, try cooking the things you found together. Dandelions are a great one to start with, they are easy to identify, abundant and make a fine tempura, which is very easy and fun to cook with kids. See our recipe here.