Maple Syrup Time: But will kids eat it?

Sap drips from a tree. It takes 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup.

March is maple syrup month.

It’s a magical time of year. Sap only runs when night temps fall below freezing and days are in the 40s. Once it gets too warm – usually by mid April – the season is over.

This weekend I’m heading up to MacKenzie Environmental Education Center in Poynette with a group of 35 kids and parents for their annual Maple Syrup Festival. We’ll eat a mess of pancakes with real maple syrup and take in the maple syrup making exhibits.

The kids will love the real syrup, right?

Sounds crazy, but some years ago, I treated some kids to real maple syrup and they didn’t like it. This blew my mind. How could the kids prefer the artificial hyper-sweet syrup to the lighter, earthy sweetness of the real deal? Easy. Kids are just used to the fake stuff. It’s sweeter and gooier. I grew up on Aunt Jemima and truth is most families can’t afford to buy real maple syrup anyway. Perhaps Nature Deficit Disorder applies to food too…call it Nature Palette Disorder.

I will find out on Saturday what a new batch of kids think.

What real foods do your kids reject in favor of the processed variety. Think Velveeta and Oscar Meyer wieners.

Diane Schwartz is busy getting ready for this trip and enjoying the perfect Maple Syrup making weather. Subscribe to this blog now and receive a free 11-page Bubble Activity Guide.

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