Getting Kids to Eat Their Vegetables–It’ll grow on them!

Getting kids to eat their vegetables is as easy as growing them in your own back yard.  When children tend a garden and help harvest the produce, they’re more likely to eat the vegetables they grew.   So getting kids to eat their vegetables is as easy as a few plants, some dirt, and water.

Most vegetables are easy to grow and you don’t need a big plot of land to have a vegetable garden.  You can use containers on your patio, a portion of your flower garden, or a small area in the yard.  Tomatoes and pepper plants grow nicely in containers as do herbs and lettuce.  The various colors from your produce and varied textures of the greenery will provide interesting combinations and excitement to any garden space.

A kid’s vegetable garden should have foods that are easy to incorporate into their diet.  Some children love salads, which makes the task of choosing items for the garden much easier.  However, some children are a little finicky and may need to start with the “basics” like green beans, peas, tomatoes, and carrots.  Choose your child’s favorites first, then progress to the “untouchables”.  Once your children take pride in their gardening, then getting kids to eat their vegetables will be a breeze!

Start with a good soil mixture.  Use 1/3 peat moss, 1/3 vermiculite, and 1/3 compost as a great combination.  Mix these three together and place in the garden space and start planting! A very informative book about gardening is The Square Foot Gardener.  The techniques in this book work well.  Make sure you choose a sunny spot that will get at least 6 or more hours of sunlight per day.

Typically, for first time gardeners, I recommend buying the vegetable plants from your local greenhouse or home improvement store and transplanting them directly into your container or garden.  Once you and your child get more proficient at gardening, then starting plants from seeds in a greenhouse or indoors is another fun activity you can master.

Start with a tomato plant, a 6-pack of lettuce or spinach, a 6-pack of squash or zucchini plants, and a packet of carrot or green bean seeds. Look online for when to start growing each kind of plant for your area.  Some seeds or plants like cabbage, broccoli, radishes, and carrots can be grown in colder months.

Kids take pride in the work they do.  When they grow their own vegetables and fruits, they’ll be more likely to eat them too!  So getting kids to eat their vegetables will grow into a fun family project.




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