Vegetable gardening is a great way to get kids interested in the outdoors and a good way to get them to eat their vegetables. Fortunately, this is a n easy project to get started. Follow these tips when growing vegetables with your kids or grandkids.
Pick quick germinating plants. If you’re starting with seeds, waiting for them to sprout can seem like forever when you’re little. Choosing a vegetable like beans or peas will give you results in less than a week in most climates.
Let the kids pick some of the vegetables. If you’re working with a group of kids, consider letting each child pick one or two plants. You may also want to consider letting the kids pick half the plants, but making sure to plant a few new vegetables they’ve never tried before. Growing the plants themselves will make them much more apt to try eating them.
Start some plants from sprouts. Yes, these can be more expensive than seeds, but they are also more likely to bear fruit faster.
Be careful with staking. Children seem to be fascinated with staking long vines, but they tend to tie strings to tight. Carefully monitor this part of the process.
Let the kids find recipes they want to try with the produce. If a child in unfamiliar with a particular vegetable, letting them choose how to cook it can be a great way to get them to eat it. Don’t be surprised if they choose to eat a lot of vegetable pizza, but I also recommend the recipe for vegetable dumplings in the attached video. You may also want to use this opportunity to teach them the basics of canning.
Grow some fruit and herbs with the vegetables. Kids are much more likely to eat fruit than vegetables, and by growing herbs they will be able to get much more creative with how they cook all of their produce.