In today’s age of digital dependence, it’s not easy getting kids off the iPad or away from the TV and out into the great outdoors. If you’re looking for a way to get your kids outside and in touch with nature, encouraging them to grow their own food is a great place to start.
Angie Thomas, a Horticulture Consultant to Yates, says experience and motherhood have taught her that nothing encourages kids to take up a healthy hobby more than making it a fun activity to share with their friends and family.”In addition to being good fun, there’s a bunch of reasons to get kids in the garden including physical activity, fresh air, and even mindfulness. Getting their hands dirty in the garden has been scientifically proven to increase serotonin levels through contact with soil and specific soil bacteria,” says Angie.
Here, Angie shares some easy ways to encourage your kids to get in the garden, growing their own veggies and (hopefully) eating them too!
Easy Fruit and Veggies for Kids to Grow
Getting kids into the garden is easier when they can take control. Some kid-friendly fruit and veggies include cherry tomatoes, peppers, loose-leaf lettuces, beans, strawberries, blueberries, baby carrots, and cucumbers. Come fall, kids can try planting veggies like snow peas and baby leaf spinach.
How to Encourage Kids to Grow Their Own Veggies
Involve kids in the decision-making process by asking them what they would like to grow or even take them on a trip to the garden center so they can help you choose seeds and plants. Ensure they are involved in the sowing and planting process in addition to caring for the plants as they grow. Let kids pick the veggies and fruit themselves, even if the harvest doesn’t make it back into the house – a homegrown garden snack can be more fun!
Growing Tips for Kids
Plants and veggies need regular watering and is an easy task for kids. Appoint your little one as the “Chief of Watering” by purchasing a small and colourful watering can from your local hardware store. Grow the veggies or fruit in its preferred spot either in full sun or part shade and ensure there is regular feeding to encourage healthy plant growth.
Benefits of Getting Kids in The Garden
There’s a bunch of reasons to get kids in the garden including physical activity, fresh air, and even mindfulness. Getting their hands dirty in the garden has been scientifically proven to increase serotonin levels through contact with soil and specific soil bacteria. Serotonin is a happy chemical that helps fight depression and improves immune systems. If children don’t get the opportunity to play in the dirt, it’s thought to contribute to an increased risk of allergies, asthma and mental illness.
This article originally appeared on our sister site, Homes to Love.