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Thursday, May 1, 2014

Gardening: Get Your Kids Involved!

The kids that grow veggies,
eat veggies!
It's time to think about gardening!

Did you know? One of the best ways to get your children interested in eating veggies is to include them in growing veggies. Here are six ideas to help you get your children interested in gardening this year.

1. Read Up on Gardening

Find books at the library that talk about the different veggies you might want to plant. Have your kids read them and help decide what to plant.

2. A Special Spot in the Garden or on the Deck

Consider having special areas of the garden for each person in your family. Even if you don't have room for a big garden, you can start small by having a couple of pots on the porch or deck for your garden plants. Then let your kids be responsible for their own little plant. This will give them a sense of ownership. Make sure your garden is easy to access for small children so they can help plant, water, weed, and harvest.

3. Tools of the Trade

You don't need anything fancy or expensive. Perhaps a watering can, hand tool, or some garden markers to mark which seeds are which.

4. Take Note!

Think of fun ways for your kids to record your garden's progress. Your garden plot will look quite different in September than it does in June! When your kids go out to the garden to water or weed, have them write down (or take a picture) of what's growing.

5. Family Fun at Harvest Time

When time comes to harvest, get the whole family involved. Kids love to share experiences, and gardening is no different. Picking, washing, and cooking garden produce can lead to lifelong memories!

6. Share the Bounty

If your family garden has a bumper crop of a certain veggie, consider sharing with others in your community or neighborhood. This strengthens community ties and teaches your child the importance of sharing.

Goal for the Month

Here are some goals to try this month. Pick one or two goals, and get your kids involved!
  • Visit your local library and choose some books for your kids to read on gardens or garden produce.
  • Check out some of these recipes. They may help you decide what kind of vegetables to include in a garden:
  • Go online to find seed catalogs. You'll see an amazing variety of seeds available to try.
Have fun gardening with your kids! You'll be creating memories and encouraging lifelong healthy habits.

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