Weston, 1, joins his big sister Bergandy, 4, and brother Asher, 7, in helping to grow the family's large backyard garden in Lynn Valley. The kids also help with cooking the family meals.
"(Weston) gets in the way, but we still call it helping," said Paglaro.
Not only do the kids have the run of the garden, they take responsibility for their own little patch.
"Last year Asher had his own tomato plants and this year Bergandy has her own spinach plot," said Paglaro. "They each get their own area."
With a fairy garden, a snail house and unusual plants (rainbow carrots, anyone?) the garden is a delicious place to explore. But it's not all fun and games. Paglaro also wants to teach her kids that growing food takes time and commitment.
"There are lots of times when the kids say 'Hey, let's do something else,' and I say 'Well, if we don't do this then the food's not going to grow and we don't have food.' "
The family is committed to buying organic produce and dairy, but going all-natural and pesticide-free takes a big bite out of their grocery budget. Paglaro finds that she can offset that cost by eating from the garden through the summer and early fall, as well as canning and freezing the backyard bounty. Other tricks also help: she buys items like meat and chickpeas in bulk, and cooks from scratch as much as possible.
"It costs 80 cents to make bread," she pointed out, compared to the $4-$6 you might spend in the grocery store.
The family is just as busy as any other suburban clan. Both parents work: Paglaro works part time as a media producer and blogger; her husband, Quincy, is a camera operator in the film industry. Paglaro's biggest weapon against making rushed, unhealthy food choices is her meal plan.
"The No. 1 tool for making the change is planning," said Paglaro.
Paglaro involves her kids as well. Each child gets to pick an item from well-leafed recipe books to include in that week's meal roster. In the kitchen, the kids are kept busy chopping and measuring. The Paglaros shared their love of gardening and cooking last year by entering a video contest set up by bettertogetherbc.ca. The website features blog entries, videos and forums about how to find the time to cook and eat together as a family. The site was created by the B.C. Ministry of Health and the B.C. Dairy Association. The family plans to enter the contest again this year, and aim to win it this time (last year they came in fifth with their recipe for stone soup).
"It's become a really, really fun family ritual and a way to celebrate all the commitments we make throughout the year," said Paglaro.