Foraging with Toddlers: Dandelion Flower Lemonade

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I started foraging when I was around 5. One day, after relentless hours were spent in search of food my sister and I finally struck the motherload; a batch of what we concluded to be wild onions. Big and bulbous we uncovered close to 15 “onions” and proceeded to hack them up with our shovels. We were backyard pioneers in search of nourishment after all.

“Gwaddddammitt girlsssss”. My mother appeared from the top balcony in near hysterics. Apparently we had not found wild onions but dahlia bulbs. Dahilas she had just planted that day and according to her, were very expensive. They now lay finely minced in a pile on the grass. Opppps.

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Despite mistaking dahlia bulbs for onions, I’ve never lost the thrill of foraging and it’s such a fun way to wile away a warm spring afternoon. Children, as I can personally attest to, love plucking things from the ground so it comes quite naturally to them.

Dandelions are probably one of the easiest plants to identify and forage safely with toddlers and they’re quite abundant. The flowers, leaves and root can all be used but its the flowers that caught Fig’s attention.

Our backyard is overflowing with the flowers so we don’t have to venture very far in search of them. I never forage in places where the plants could possibly be sprayed with chemicals, especially when I’m giving foraged food to my kids.

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Dandelion Flower Ice Tea:

Ingredients: 

  • Dandelion Flowers ( Thoroughly rinsed to avoid making lemonade with bugs)
  • Lemons
  • Coconut Sugar
  • Water

Directions 

  • There are no specific quantities listed above because nature is not like a grocery store and you may not be able to find exactly a cup of flowers. Generally, I would add two cups of water for every cup of dandelion flowers you have.
  • Lemons and sugar will be to taste. We had about three cups of dandelion flowers and used 5 lemons and 1/4 cup of sugar.
  • Combine flowers and water together. Place the jar in a warm sunny spot and let sit for a few hours.
  • Add the lemons and sugar. You can strain out the flowers at this point or leave them in. Chill for a few hours or serve at room temperature depending on your preference.

Toddler Friendly Parts of this Recipe:

  • Foraging for dandelion flowers
  • Rinsing leaves
  • Squeezing lemons
  • Mixing and stirring

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11 thoughts on “Foraging with Toddlers: Dandelion Flower Lemonade

  1. Pamplemousse says:

    Thanks for the story! It gave me some perspective on why my kids of the things they do sometimes…. They rarely try to ruin what I create, they are on their own mission to uncover the world!! And another sweet post and photos😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • cookingwithtoddlers says:

      Before I had kids I thought little babies was the hardest part of parenting….toddlers are a whole different ballgame that nobody warned me about! My 2 year old is literally bonkers and drives me to the limits of patience every 5 minutes it seems. I frequently lose it but I know he’s not getting into all these shenanigans on purpose…as you said, just uncovering the world! Apparently I was extremely mischievous as a child so I think I’m getting paid back with my kids now..karma! At least my roasted dandelion coffee gets me through the day! 🙂

      Like

      • Pamplemousse says:

        Having children is wonderful on so many levels, and one of them is how much we get to learn from them and practice patience and love without understanding. Because trying to understand a small child at times is courting madness!! Yet we still get to love them despite the lack of understanding.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cookingwithtoddlers says:

        Beautiful words! Patience….certainly something I am working on by the minute over here. I used to think I was a very patient person…having children has made me realize how far I have to go. They are great teachers!

        Like

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