Gardening With Children


Gardening is a very good way to get children interested in preparing and eating the fruits and vegetables that they have grown.

Gardening with Children

Gardening with children, letting them grow their own fruits and vegetables, will increase the chance that they eat the fruits and vegetables that they have harvested.
Gardening with children, letting them grow their own fruits and vegetables, will increase the chance that they eat the fruits and vegetables that they have harvested. | Source

Gardening With Children. The Benefits of Letting Your Children Grow Their Own Food

Gardening is a therapeutic activity, but it is also a great way to introduce children to fruits and vegetables.

Letting your children help in the garden by having their own little fruit and vegetable patch is a very good way to get them interested not only in gardening but also in preparing and eating the fruits and vegetables that they have grown.

When my little ones were younger I always let them collect the garden tomatoes and raspberries. They loved doing that, last summer I could hardly get any raspberries or cherry tomatoes on the table, they would finish the harvest before even coming back to the house. They even started creating their own recipes with tomatoes and all sort of herbs from the garden to make summer salads. Suddenly preparing food and eating became fun!

I found that some of the benefits of letting my children help to grow their own fruits and vegetables were:

  • An increased interest in growing all sorts of fruits and vegetables
  • An increased interest in learning to prepare and even inventing their own recipes with their fruits and veggies.
  • An interest to eat fresh fruits and vegetables instead of processed foods and sweets.
  • As a family, we started to eat healthier meals
  • With the increased physical activity in the garden, my children were hungrier at meal times and more tired at bedtime.
  • Gardening gave them a new appreciation for nature.
  • As a family, we saved money on grocery bills and entertainment as the children found that gardening was a rewarding hobby.

Taking care of his zucchini plants

My boy taking care of the courgettes/zucchinis.
My boy taking care of the courgettes/zucchinis. | Source

Let Your Children Experiment in the Garden


Another new development last year was to let them experiment in planting their own seeds. The success was so amazing that even I was surprised to see them collecting their carrots and courgettes and cooking them for their lunch.

Let your children experiment in the garden, give them a little patch of land and let them choose their own seeds. Planning their own vegetable patch, taking care of their baby plants, seeing how a seed transforms into a small plant and then seeing that plant flourish and give fruits is extremely exciting for them. I remember my children would come from school straight to the garden to see how their plants were. They became very responsible about taking care of their vegetable patch and very proud of their fruits. I am hoping to be able to do the same this year.


The happiness of harvesting her first radish

Gardening with children, The happiness of harvesting her first radish
Gardening with children, The happiness of harvesting her first radish | Source

Children are more apt to eat vegetables if they grow them

Vegetable gardening shows children how to enjoy fresh and wholesome foods straight from the plant or vine.



Preparing the Ground

Children preparing the ground for planting tomatoes
Children preparing the ground for planting tomatoes

Vegetable Gardening: See how fun it can be to discover nature working

If you don't have a garden this is a Kids' Container Gardening guide

Kids' Container Gardening: Year-Round Projects for Inside and Out
Kids' Container Gardening: Year-Round Projects for Inside and Out

18 projects will teach enthusiastic young gardeners how to create an assortment of container gardens that are simple to make, that are fun to work on, and that make great gifts.

 

When is time for harvest children will feel a sense of joy and accomplishment about their gardening meaning that they will eat and share their fruits and veg.


Teaching children about nature is as important as teaching them other subjects at school. Having a garden patch my children learnt to be more responsible and also they learnt by their own experience how plants grow and how some of the food we eat eventually arrives at our tables. For example, seeing all the work that goes behind a simple tomato salad made them more respectful towards the dishes served at the table. Now they have seen by themselves how long it takes for a tomato to grow, how delicate they are and how much work they need to do to keep their tomato plants growing healthy. After all that, now they just don’t say “I don’t like it” without trying something. At least now they try, taste and judge before refusing to eat something.


Growing their own vegetables my little ones have discovered not only nature at work but also new foods and flavors. Now they eat many more fruits and vegetables than last year and they are more open to trying new vegetables.



Growing and cooking carrots

The joys of harvesting his first little carrot!
The joys of harvesting his first little carrot! | Source
Grating carrots for a carrot salad
Grating carrots for a carrot salad | Source

Gardening With Children, More Benefits


  • Gardening gives the opportunity to children to spend time outdoors, fresh air and exercise are essential for a child's wellbeing.
  • Gardening gives children a sense of accomplishment, the happiness in their face at their first carrot of radish is just worth any effort.
  • Growing their own food, children will learn that they too can contribute to the sustainability of our planet while learning useful skills that will last a lifetime.
  • Gardening also allows children to express their creativity if you give them "carte blanche" to grow what they want in their own little allotments.
  • Gardening gives children the opportunity to play in dirt! for once they are not obliged to keep their hands clean and they can get dirty and muddy.


Harvesting Cherries

Source

Getting the tomatoes for dinner

Children picking tomatoes
Children picking tomatoes | Source

© 2012 Wendy Iturrizaga

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21 comments

one2get2no profile image

one2get2no 4 years ago from Olney

Superb hub Princessa. I grow my own fruit and vegetables every summer and show my son how to do it. Vote up!


Princessa profile image

Princessa 4 years ago from France Author

one2get2no: hi, yes that is a great idea and a fantastic way to share an outdoor activity with your son. I started growing cherry tomatoes and now we are growing lettuces, courgettes, aubergines, pumpkins, all sorts of herbs, carrots... etc. The only "disaster" was our spinachs, they never came out :-( we'll try again this year!


rsusan profile image

rsusan 4 years ago from South Africa

This is a great hub, Princessa! Now, if you could combine growing their own food and juicing the veggies, it will be the best of recipes! These are all wonderful ways to get kids to see veggies in a different light! We need to be creative.


Princessa profile image

Princessa 4 years ago from France Author

rsusan: Yes, that is really good. My little ones really like creating their own smoothies with the fruits of their harvest -when they don't eat them before they get to the kitchen!

I remember when I was a little girl my mom used to make lots of juices for us (yes, I was a picky eater) and that was the only way I could have both fruits and vegetables everyday. My favourite one was one made with strawberries, bananas, papaya and beetroot; it was delicious!


rsusan profile image

rsusan 4 years ago from South Africa

Sounds yummy, Princessa. Wish we had a juicer when I was growing up. I totally detested veggies! Can't believe that now, but that's the way it was. I think juicing would have helped. Your kids are lucky to learn healthy habits in this way.


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

This is a great idea for encouraging children to eat vegetables and fruits, Princessa. Growing their own food would be be very interesting for children and give them a sense of accomplishment - and freshly picked food tastes the best!


Princessa profile image

Princessa 4 years ago from France Author

rsusan: Yes, I believe that my little ones are lucky to be able to see how fruits and vegetables grow. They are becoming more and more adventurous to cook and eat their fruits and veg now that they are involved in producing them.

Alicia: That's right, garden vegs are super tasty. We got so used to our own tomatoes that now when we buy tomatoes we find them really tasteless. Home grown tomatoes are so delicious that you don't need any dressing to eat them raw. The same goes for other homegrown fruits and vegs.

Growing your own food also teaches your children to eat seasonally which I find a very good thing.


Seafarer Mama profile image

Seafarer Mama 4 years ago from New England

Loved this hub because it has gotten me even more excited for when planting season begins. My daughter loves to help me, and I encourage her to enjoy harvesting the food we grow straight from the garden, as I did when I was her age. :0) Can't wait to do this again.

Also look forward to my daughter eating more salads because it was food she helped grow and harvest. :0) She was more likely to snack on kale and swiss chard this summer than ever before.

Enjoyed the layout of this hub, and voted UP on everything but funny.


Princessa profile image

Princessa 4 years ago from France Author

Seafarer Mama: Thanks for the votes. Getting your children to grow their own fruits and veg is fantastic for introducing them to new foods usually difficult to eat for them (ie. vegetables).

At the start I found that little vegs like cherry tomatoes, baby carrots, green beans and radishes were the easiest ones to grow and the more tempting for the children to eat.

Good luck with your garden!


kelleyward 4 years ago

Great pics! Loved how you organized this. We started a family garden last year but didn't have much luck. Plan to do it again this year. Voted up!


Princessa profile image

Princessa 4 years ago from France Author

kelleyward don't give up with your family garden; it is worth every minute of work you put in it. We've had somze "failures" too like the spinachs that never came or the melons that only developed up to cherry tomatoes size and then just decided to die... But even failures were good as the children realized that growing their own fruits and veg was not as easy as they thought and it required work, dedication and of course a good amount of good luck ;-)


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal

I belong to a farmer's family. I have been gardening from the time I was a child. I know gardening can be fun and recreational activities for children.

I enjoyed reading your views.


Princessa profile image

Princessa 4 years ago from France Author

Vinaya: Thanks for reading and comenting. I grew up mostly in the city and never did any gardening at all. I've only discovered the joys of gardening a few years ago, so in a way growing our own food is a discovery trip not only for my little ones but also for me. We are learning toguether what works and what doesn't.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 4 years ago from Southern California, USA

Hi Wendy,

I found this cool link to your hub on my entry about tomatoes. are right about how children can learn a lot if you do simple things, like having a garden.


Princessa profile image

Princessa 4 years ago from France Author

Hello SweetiePie, gardening has helped a lot to get my little ones interested in trying fruits and vegetables that otherwise they would not eat. Just now they are having a banquet with the garden's strawberries and amanzingly enough with the lettuces that I am managing to get them to eat at the end of the main course along with their cheese every single day!


Daisy Mariposa profile image

Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

Wendy,

Thanks for publishing this article. I'm certain many parents will find it helpful, so I'm going to share it with my followers.


Princessa profile image

Princessa 4 years ago from France Author

Daisy Mariposa: You are welcome and thanks for the hub love. Since my children started to help in the daily maintenance of our vegetable patch they are eating much better than what they used to. Not only they enjoy their own produce (so far this year: strawberries, cherries and lettuces) but they are also more keen to try new foods and ways of cooking them.


issabella iturrizaga 4 years ago

hello,aunty wendy que asses con esos pepinassos? seguramente comida muy rica ojala fuera ahi para comer todas estas verduras ricisimas

saludos de duque que se ha comido su heladito de limon


Kris Heeter profile image

Kris Heeter 4 years ago from Indiana

This is a great article and I love the real garden pictures!

There are so many benefits that gardening gives to kids - both mentally and physically. And I think it is so important to know what "real" food is and where it comes from!


TeachableMoments profile image

TeachableMoments 4 years ago from California

Voted up, beautiful, useful and interesting. My family just started a small vegetable/fruit garden. My five-year-old daughter enjoys picking her own green beans for dinner. There is something so special about harvesting your own food for dinner. It makes meals all the more memorable. Thank you for such a well written and inspiring hub!


Princessa profile image

Princessa 4 years ago from France Author

Kris: all the photos were taken in our garden. Children really enjoy growing their own food it is an achievement for them to eat things that they have grown themselves.

TeachableMoments: Thanks for the votes and for sharing your experience. Good luck with your garden!

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