So far in this blog series I have offered tips on hiding vegetables and tricking kids into eating vegetables (in smoothies and ice lollies) but this is my favourite idea. How about we get our kids to grow their own vegetables!
Want your kids to grow up loving fruits and vegetables? Teach them to garden! It may have lasting impacts on their food preferences. Researchers found that children are five times more likely to eat salad when they have grown it themselves.
Vegetables are fun and easy for children because they germinate quickly. I love the sense of wonder Lexi has experienced watching her seeds germinate and vegetables grow. It’s also educational. Gardening has been a lesson in patience and responsibility for Lexi. I have used it as an opportunity to teach her about the life cycle of plants.
When planning your vegetable garden think about how each plant will appeal to your child’s senses of taste, smell and touch.
You don’t have to have a large space to grow vegetables. Many can be grown in small urban gardens (like ours) or even in pots on balconies. I have always grown what I call a "snacking garden" so that Lexi can snack straight from the garden. Some great choices for a snacking garden are:
Keeping our garden organic is really important to me, and so I have researched using herbs and flowers as pest control. The benefits are two-fold, they had extra sensory dimension to your vegetable garden and they keep pests at bay. Our favourites are: