Five tips to get kids into gardening and healthy eating
Growing kids' excitement about gardening can be a challenge. But if you succeed, there are countless benefits - they can learn about where food comes from, eat more healthily, get more family time and develop an appreciation of, and connection to, nature.
If it's a habit you'd like your kids to get into, here are a few key tips that'll give your kids green thumbs in no time! Have a read and let us know your top tips in the comments below.
One idea is to give your kids their own patch of garden to take care of. Then they can be responsible for this patch and what's in it, plus take care of it as well. Don't worry if you don't have a garden, they can have their own container or two to take charge of otherwise!
Let your kids choose what goes in their patch - if it's their favourite fruit and veges that can be a real incentive to take care of what they've planted. Just remember there are a few things they will need to consider when choosing their plants, such as the season and what works well in your climate and soil conditions.
Quick tip: Try plants that are speedy to germinate, such as radishes, which will sprout in a matter of days. This will keep them interested and motivated to see the other plants grow.
3. Get creative
Have fun and let them decorate their patch or pot. Enjoyment is the key that will keep them coming back. A few ideas could be painting their pot, or rocks or ice block sticks with labels so they remember where everything is planted. Bird feeders, or plants like swan plants that attract butterflies, are also a good idea to encourage wildlife in your garden.
4. The tools
Make sure your kids are well equipped to nurture their garden. Get them set up with the right tools and skills. Watching you garden is one of the best ways kids can learn. Don't forget to keep encouraging them along the way! Tell them how great their garden is looking and how proud you are, and show others what they're growing. This will be just another incentive to keep gardening and growing their skills.
5. Enjoy it!
Maybe the best part is kids can literally taste the fruits of their labour. Eat and enjoy all the produce they've have grown and include it in your meals as much as you can. And don't be shy about snacking in the garden. Sorrell, rocket, cherry tomatoes, snow peas, capsicum and strawberries are all delicious and great snack options. You could also give any leftover produce to friends and family, or let your kids sell the produce and keep the pocket money.