Do you have picky eaters? Kids who don’t like to eat their vegetables? I have an idea for you that may help them at least be interested in trying vegetables. I can’t guarantee they’ll like it or eat more of it, but maybe at least try it. Ready?
Grow a garden.
How would growing a garden help? Read on my friends!
One of my favorite things about spring is planting a garden and growing fresh herbs and vegetables that my family can enjoy all summer long. We love planting zucchini, tomatoes, bell peppers, and this year we’re growing cilantro and basil as well. And it’s a great way to teach children about where their food comes from!
Even with always living in an apartment or town home, and not having a yard of our own, we’ve still been able to have our own little garden and reap the rewards of fresh produce. My kids love watching the garden grow! They ask me almost every day to see the plants and are so excited to see new leaves! And they love to pick the vegetables and see how we use them in our meals.
Where to Grow a Garden
If you have your own yard, pick a nice sunny spot where you can plant your seeds. You can even do raised garden beds to help with weeds. If you don’t have a yard, there are a few other options for you. You can grow a garden on your porch with potted vegetable plants (they have some super creative ideas on Pinterest), you can grow herbs indoors in pots, or some communities have a garden where you can purchase an area for a small fee and grow your own vegetables. I’ve lived in two cities in two different states that have done this. So find out if where you live has a community garden. It’s so fun to see what everyone else is growing and you can even swap your produce with others.
How to Get Your Kids Involved with Gardening
Kids love to watch things grow and get their hands a little dirty! They love to create and help do big kid things. So here are some things fun ways to get your kids involved in gardening.
Whether you’re planting a potted garden or are starting plants indoors, you can buy clay pots for your kids to decorate and paint. They will love watching the plants begin to grow in the pots that they painted!
Let Them Dig in the Dirt
When planting your pots or planting directly into your garden, let your kids get involved with the planting and dig in the dirt! But make sure when you store your potting mix to keep it high and out of reach of your children. I may have kept mine on a shelf in the garage where my 2 year old son could grab it and he may have dumped a bunch of it in a pile in the garage…but I was able to salvage most of it. 🙂
Use Miracle-Gro Gro-ables
Creating your own Gro-ables Project is the perfect way to start your garden! These little pods have your seeds ready to go. All you have to do is plant them in some dirt and water them. Plus the seeds are guaranteed! Miracle-Gro Gro-ables are so great for little kids because they won’t have to worry about how deep to plant the seeds or how many to place in the ground. The pods are prepped for success! Your kids can just pick up a pod, place it in the dirt so that the pod is completely surrounded by potting mix, water where the pod is planted, and watch the seeds grow! They are perfect for small and not quite coordinated hands.
Let Your Kids Help Water
My kids love using a watering can to water the garden and potted plants outside our town home. In fact, last summer when we just moved to our new place, they just wanted to water anything and we didn’t have plants out so they watered the grass and the other landscaping.
Keep the Plants Where They Can See
Our Miracle-Gro Gro-ables are currently sitting on our window sill in the kitchen. It’s a nice sunny place and somewhere the kids can see how well the plants are growing. My littlest kids often ask me to show them the plants so they can see the new leaves and how tall they’ve gotten. They loved seeing when the first little green started poking out of the potting mix.
Let Them Help Harvest
Always one of my kids’ favorite things to do is to help pick the vegetables from the plants. My parents have a big garden in their yard and my girls would love looking through the big zucchini, squash, pumpkin, and tomato plants looking for fresh vibrant vegetables ready for the picking. They would take grocery bags to collect the veggies and couldn’t wait to show me what they had found. It feels pretty great to be able to reap the rewards of planting a garden and children recognize that too.
How to Get Kids to Eat Vegetables – Let Them Help Prep Food
And here’s the final part to help your kids eat their vegetables – get them involved in the garden process and in the food prep process. A great way for children to learn more about where their food comes from is to let them help prepare food from their garden! This can be as simple as slicing up some bell peppers and eating them with hummus or cutting up cucumber slices and dipping them in Ranch Dressing. My kids love to be in the kitchen when I’m cooking. Sometimes it’s because they’re starving and want to snack before dinner…but usually it’s because they want to help me cook. They love to measure and stir. Do you need some recipe ideas to use with your fresh veggies? Here are some recipes we love to make!
*And if you have a plethora of zucchini, as I often do, you can shred your zucchini on a cheese grater and put it in plastic bags or containers and freeze it. Then pull it out when you’re ready to make some zucchini bread.
What are your tips for growing plants with your children? I would love to know!