We all know the importance of fruits and vegetables, but it’s not always the first choice for most people, especially for the kids.
Data from the CDC shows that as many as 93% of kids fail to eat enough vegetables to meet daily recommendations while 60% of children don’t eat enough fruits. Although dietary recommendations vary with a child’s age and gender, getting them to eat one, let alone the daily recommendation of three, can be very challenging.
If you are struggling to find new ways to get your kids excited about fruits and vegetables, the solution might lie in your backyard. It turns out that having a family garden and enlisting your kid(s) as active participants in tending it can foster a long-term appreciation for healthy eating.
Don’t believe me? Well, studies have shown that kids who learn to garden eat more fruits and vegetables than those who don’t. Surprisingly, gardening as a child may cultivate a positive relationship with healthy food that lasts all the way into their adult life.
Benefits Of Growing A Family Garden
Getting kids interested in gardening shouldn’t be too hard as they naturally love playing in dirt. Alongside the great family bonding time, your children will also gain:
An enjoyment of fruits and veggies
A sense of personal responsibility
An appreciation for nature and science
A healthier body
Kids, especially younger ones, are curious creatures and sampling is one of the many activities they typically can’t resist. Having a varied garden not only inculcates good eating habits in your children, but also expands their tastebuds by introducing a variety of vegetables at a young age.
All that tinkering around the garden planting, watering and weeding gives your children a sense of purpose and responsibility. Seeing the garden flourish or deteriorate in relation to their efforts teaches them how their actions directly affect their environment.
Your children will inevitably bombard you with questions once they take up gardening. What makes plants grow? How do they drink water? Use this inquisitiveness to build their knowledge of science and nature. Make things even more interesting by taking a trip to the local botanical garden or even keeping a photo journal of your garden and the plants you’re growing.
Growing their own food from scratch will fill your kids with a sense of pride and confidence in their achievement. Furthermore, the self-esteem boost your child will get from eating a tomato he grew himself is priceless.
Nowadays, kids spend too much time indoors playing video games so gardening is a fun way to get them outside, benefiting from sunshine and fresh air. They’ll also get enough exercise digging and turning the soil, carrying watering cans and walking around the garden.
Gardening is a fun and educational activity your entire family can enjoy. So get some box planters or containers, break out the trowels and get your hands dirty!