Involvement Key to Healthy Eating
Hanging around your backyard after school doesn’t just have to be about kicking a ball around or shooting baskets. Your backyard is a place where kids can dig, plant, play and learn all at the same time! Teaching your kids to grow their own food is a fun way to educate them about healthy eating and to introduce them to the wonders of nature. Building a veggie patch, planting a fruit tree or cultivating a herb garden are all easy ways for kids to grow edible crops that the whole family can enjoy. Being able to bring their home-grown produce to the dinner table will give kids a real sense of accomplishment and, with any luck, a new appreciation for food.
Vegetable gardens provide kids with an opportunity to grow a huge variety of delicious produce in all shapes and colours, all year round – even in winter. Kids love getting involved in the planning process, so allow them to design their veggie garden by choosing which veggies they would like to grow and deciding on how they would like their garden laid out. Help them to choose a range of different veggies – some salad greens, some vine veggies (like tomatoes or peas) and a few root veggies (like carrots or potatoes) – all of which germinate and grow at different paces. Get them involved in preparing the soil, planting the seeds and watering and caring for their growing crops. The more ownership you give them the more enthusiastic they will be, especially come harvest time.
by Jo Harris, Kidspot