The connections we build with food begins in childhood.
Gardening is an excellent way to introduce kids to learning about how food is grown. Also – it’s a great avenue to help introduce kids to lots of other food-based skills. Like cooking and environmental responsibility.
It can even be a great way to help children build positive emotional and social skills, too!
How Gardening Helps Kids Grow
- It makes food fun!
Gardening isn’t a chore.
For children, being in the garden is a fun activity where they get to play, learn, and build a connection with nature.
- It allows kids to explore new foods
A garden doesn’t just teach kids about the growing process, but it opens up a new world of food beyond the plate.
Experimenting with seeds you plant in a garden can introduce children to foods they never would have seen before.
- Becoming familiar with fruits and veggies
Being involved from seed to sprout allows a child to build a unique relationship with fruits and vegetables. It also makes them more willing to try the finished product.
- Having positive conversations about food
Gardening opens a space where children can build positive relationships with food. It can create a dialogue between kids and adults or older role models while gardening together.
How gardening makes kids healthier!
Gardening if a great way to foster a healthier diet in kids
Children who are involved in gardening ate an average of 26% more fruits and vegetables.
Plus – it’s connected to an increase in willingness to taste new fruits and vegetables. Especially if they grew them themselves!
Ways to get kids involved in gardening
So, what are ways to engage kids in gardening to understand the growing process?
Here are some simple options to get started:
- Let them design the garden
Give your child a leading role in deciding what is planted in a garden. When a part of the planning process, they are more likely to stay engaged.
- Use sensory plants
A sensory garden is great for any age group, but especially recommended for toddlers and children under 5. Include fruits and vegetables, but also herbs that smell, taste, and feel unique.
- Grow inside and outside
Engage children in growing where ever they are!
Build an outdoor garden, but also plant indoor pots that can be grown in the kitchen or even the child’s bedroom.
Author: Allison Lansman, RDN, LD