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Gardening with kids

Spring is definitely in the air! Temps are rising, tulips are blooming and Easter is right around the corner. One of our favorite things to do this time of year is to plant our spring garden. I must preface this by saying, I do not have a green thumb. Some things have worked and many haven’t, but we’ve had so much fun experimenting along the way. It’s definitely some trial and error, but it’s totally worth it.

Like most kids, mine aren’t the most adventurous eaters. However, I find that the more they’re involved the more they’re willing to try new things and make healthier choices. I can’t think of a better way to get kids involved than learning how to plant, grow and harvest their own food.

Getting started

If you’re just starting a garden, my advice would be to start small and build upon your garden. Decide if you want fruits, veggies, herbs or a little of each. Herbs are my favorite to grow because they’re easy and plentiful. Our favorites are basil, mint, rosemary, parsley and cilantro. I can’t tell you how nice it is to go out back and snip off some fresh herbs to add to your dinner. You won’t believe what a difference they make. Some of our other favorites are strawberries, bell peppers, snap peas and cherry tomatoes.

Get and keep the kids involved

Planting some of the kids’ favorite fruits and veggies is a good way to decide what to plant, and it helps keep them engaged. You can plant seeds or “starter” plants which are ready to be planted and are much quicker to produce. The kids love to help garden…what kid wouldn’t love to dig in the dirt all day?! They are responsible for keeping the plants watered, pulling weeds, and picking the fruits and veggies (their favorite part).

Keep it fun

If you want to keep kids involved you have to keep it fun and interesting. Let the kids get creative by making their own garden markers. You can paint popsicles sticks with chalk paint to label each plant. They can also draw pictures of the fruits and vegetables to use as markers.

If they grow it, they’ll be more like to eat it! Keep kids involved beyond the garden by allowing them to help in the kitchen. Let them sprinkle in some parsley and basil into spaghetti sauce. If they’re old enough let them cut tomatoes and bell peppers to have as a snack with some hummus. There are so many ways to make gardening fun!

I have always found gardening to be very therapeutic and rewarding and it’s so nice to see my kids enjoy it too. I love that they’re learning responsibility, and an appreciation for where their food really comes from. Now excuse me while I go snip some fresh mint for my mojito;)

 

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