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Gardening With Children

Updated on October 25, 2015


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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