Grow Your Child’s Green Thumb

It’s finally time to get into the garden – why not invite your kids to join you this year? It’s a great way to teach them where their food comes from and how it got to their plate. Between the ages of 6 and 12, children develop eating habits and attitudes that will continue with them for the rest of their lives.

So how do develop your child’s green thumb? Here are a few tips to get you started:

Give them some space.

You may have a full backyard garden or just a couple of planter boxes for a container garden. Give your child their own allocated growing space so they can “be the boss” of their gardening.

Include them in planning.

Show your child a planting calendar and a list of appropriate seeds for your growing space. Involving them from the start makes them more invested in the process. Kids can choose pictures of plants to grow or draw their favourites.

Choose plants with varying growing times.

Let them “see” their hard work throughout the summer. Choose a variety of seeds with different growing times. That way, each week they can visually witness plant growth and change, and stay engaged in maintaining your garden.

Let your little gardener grow.

You can help fill in the gaps and watch over them to ensure their project comes to fruition, but give them the freedom and opportunity to problem solve and tend to their garden.

Bring that plant to plate!

Include your kids in harvesting and preparing their produce. This teaches kids about the full circle from plant to plate. Picky eaters are also more likely to try foods that they’ve helped to grow or prepare.