Want to know my secret to getting kids to eat more veggies?
Now this is a secret I have known for a while. Why have I only just started using it this year? Because I thought it was too difficult and time consuming. How wrong was I?! Now when I tell you the secret you will probably be thinking the same as I originally thought but I am going to show you how simple and effective this secret is.
You are probably thinking its too hard, too time consuming, needing too much room and the list goes on. I am here to show you why this strategy has helped me get my son to eat more vegetables (and my husband for that matter) and how simple it is to start.
What I have learnt is that you only have to grow a handful of vegetables or herbs.
The whole foundation of this strategy is simply to get your kids involved.
Get them involved in deciding what to plant, buying the seedlings, planting and maintaining the plants.
Ask them what herbs they want with the vegetables tonight for dinner and get them to go and cut some out of the garden.
Jump on the internet together and search for recipes using one of the vegetables they are growing in their garden.
My nearly 3 year old son absolutely loved planting our herbs and vegies. We have a massive yard but it is downstairs so I decided to plant our garden in pots near the backdoor to make it easier to use. We filled the bottom of each of the pots with a little bit of pebble and the rest with some organic potting mix. He then helped by digging holes for our seedlings. He also put labels at the front of each pot so we knew what was in there. I spoke to him about each of the plants and we looked at the pictures so he had an idea of what it would grow into.
Check out this article on how we planted our garden here.
The plants I decided to grow were selected based on how easy they are to grow.
– Cos Lettuce
– Kale (epic fail by the way due to annoying caterpillars!)
I bought seedlings from my local organic marketplace along with the potting mix. I found some old pots lying around and used some old spoons to dig. The whole lot cost less than $30 which I was very impressed with. We also got a child friendly watering can so that we can water it together each morning.
After 3 months
Now that our crops are growing well Luca helps cut some lettuce for lunch or some parsley for dinner. We are also eagerly awaiting the ripening of our tomatoes. It has been so exciting going out each morning to find a new flower or the arrival of a baby tomato. It has taught Luca a lot about how food grows and how much time it takes for some things to grow. As he gets older he will also start to appreciate the effort our farmers put in to grow beautiful fruits and vegetables. I plan to teach Luca about being grateful for an abundance of amazing foods where we live and the importance of only picking what we need.
Want to get access to my latest Cooking & Gardening Program for Early Years? The Tiny Chefs Program is a unique and engaging program that allows for your children to bring their creativity to the table! Check it out here.
Luca is now enjoying his vegetables as I get him involved in the whole process. It has also allowed us a precious space to spend time together both gardening and in the kitchen. I have also found the simple process of trimming and watering is very relaxing and gives me a little breathing space and an excuse to spend some more time outside. We are also very fortunate enough to have space for chickens and we head down to the coop each morning to collect the eggs. This really is a whole new level but if you have the space and are living in an area that allows chickens it has definitely been a great addition to our family.
My Tiny Gardener
Now you still may be thinking this sounds like too much work. I assure you it can be as simple as you want. Why not start with a small pot of basil? Or parsley? You can usually get these at the supermarket. All you have to do is stick it on the window ledge and water it. Each morning or afternoon you can get your kids to water the herbs. You can also jump on the internet to search for some recipes where you can use the herbs. If you are growing basil you could make a delicious pesto. If you are growing parsley why not add it to a scrumptious savoury mince or meat balls.
There are plenty of resources out there to give you the basics of growing your own vegetables and herbs why not sit the kids down and start some planting?
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