I love gardening because I LOVE to have fresh YUMMY vegetables come out of my garden every summer. They are not only super fresh and healthy but they taste better too. If you have kids there’s another HUGE benefit to gardening…. They WANT to eat their veggies. In fact, I have “caught” my kids sneaking into the garden to eat the fresh fruits and vegetables BEFORE they hit the dinner table. And I am TOTALLY cool with this. It’s so much better than trying to make them “eat their veggies”. We take some simple steps to get the kids involved in the entire process so when our plants start producing the kids start searching for ripe fruits and veggies and they start eating!!
Here’s my super simple recommendations….
1. Bring them along when you go to the Garden Center and ask them to help you find some vegetables to plant. You’ll never know what they’ll try until you start planting them. I’m always up for adding a few vegetables that aren’t in my normal dinner repertoire to change things up for the whole family. This year we added Swiss Chard and it’s been a HUGE hit at our house. Who knew??
2. Get them to help you plant the seeds and baby plants. You’ll get the job done more quickly (depending on how old your little one is), but more importantly, they’ll feel important and feel like they made the garden grow when it all starts happen. It gives them ownership.
3. Walk the garden with them. Show them how what they picked out and planted is growing. Show them the green fruits and vegetables going from flower to fruit.
4. When things start ripening – show them how to eat them & how to harvest them. Lots of times we eat them right off the plant with my itty-bitty tomatoes, raspberries, strawberries & currants. Once there’s enough we’ll take out bowls and spend time as a family pulling all the ripe fruits and vegetables. Although, I have to say, I haven’t seen any strawberries or raspberries hit my kitchen yet. Kind of interesting….
5. Send them out to do the harvesting for you. I’ll send my kids out to pick herbs & tomatoes. It saves me time and they feel so special being a part of getting the meal together. They’ll just be playing in the yard and take a break to find all the fruit that is growing and sometimes even the tomatoes because they are so sweet.