Getting kids to eat their fruits and vegetables is a full-time job. Young kids aren’t exactly known for their diverse food tastes, and they like to stick to things they know and love. If you’re trying to introduce your kids to healthier produce, you might be using the wrong methods. Gardening is a great way to help children not only learn how food is grown, but also gain excitement about trying new things.
Creating an Edible Garden
Creating an edible garden for your pre-school aged children is a fun activity for the whole family! It’s easy to create a garden that’s safe and educational in your own backyard or even in your home kitchen. Keep reading for tips for creating an edible garden that’s perfect for pre-school and beyond.
Plants for Kids
Not all plants are ideal for children to grow. Some require more complex gardening skills or aren’t easy to eat for wandering fingers. Start with plants that are not only tasty and packed with nutrients, but that are also easy for all ages to grow. Your kids will be eating their veggies in no time.
Here are the best plants to grow with kids:
Not only are beets nutritious, but they also introduce kids to root crops. Kids will love to see the bright colors like red, orange, white, and yellow, and they can even eat the leaves of these cold-season plants. Young kids can dig for the beets like looking for buried treasure, so there’s a lot of opportunity for play.
While most kids already like eating carrots, they taste even better when plucked fresh from the garden. With both baby carrots to foot-long roots, there is a lot of variety you can look for when growing carrots. Carrots are also easy to grow, making them perfect for new gardeners.
We’ve all heard of the classic dilemma of getting kids to eat more broccoli. This healthy green veggie is high in nutritional value, but can also be easy to grow in your edible garden. Since broccoli grows like immature flower buds, you can offer your kids the chance to eat “flowers” right from the garden.
Growing herbs is an easy way to introduce kids to sights, smells, and tastes. Basil can be produced in its traditional state, or also in different flavors like lemon, lime, or cinnamon. Basil can also lead to flowers, though these should be removed if you’re planning to harvest leaves to use in the kitchen. Encourage kids to taste and smell basil and introduce it in their favorite dishes.
Make Gardening Fun for Kids
The most important part of creating an edible garden is to make it fun for your kids. Younger kids have short attention spans and might not understand how plants go from seed to veggie. The more you can involve your kids in the process, the more excited they’ll be every step of the way.
Let your kids take a hands-on role in helping you choose your seeds from myseedneeds.com or a local store. Next, give them small tasks to help with the garden. Kids might not be able to construct anything complex, but they can help with painting pots or plucking weeds. Together, you can make your edible garden as big or small as you’d like.
Your kids will be eating new foods in no time. Meanwhile, you’ll be teaching them valuable skills about hard work and the environment. Who knows what they might try next? Gardening with kids takes time, but it’s well worth it.
Guest Post by Wendy Dessler