Grow a Family Garden!

by CCE Onondaga – Eat Smart New York June 2017

Gardening offers great family fun. In a garden, you can be active, relax, and spend time together. Growing vegetables or herbs teaches children that plants, like people, need food and water to grow and stay healthy. Caring for plants helps develop responsibility. It also builds self-esteem when kids see what they can grow!

A garden can teach your child about new foods. Kids usually taste what they grow!

What you need:

  • Containers for city gardens: milk and juice carton, empty cans, bucket
  • Garden plot: a 2-foot plot is big enough. Hint: Preparing soil is hard for young children.
  • Child-size tools: watering can, hose, small shovel, old spoon and fork, small rake, digging stick, hoe and spade, sticks to label plants
  • Seeds or seedlings (young plants)
  • Water for your hose or watering can
  • Soil for container gardens
  • Fertilizer: compost, manure, chemical types

Easy foods for kids to grow:

  • Beets,* carrots,* cherry tomatoes,* collard greens,* cucumbers,* green beans,* herbs,* lettuce,* okra, onion,* peppers,* spinach, tomatoes, zucchini
  • In windowsill pot: herbs, seeds to replant as young plants in the garden.

*This grows easily in a container

What would your child like to grow? Try them!

Most kids are proud of what they grow. Even when gardening is messy, your child is learning. It is okay if the garden is not planted perfectly. He or she can help with almost any gardening task, such as:

  • Pick the vegetables or herbs we will grow.
  • Make the soil ready in a container or in the garden.
  • Plant seeds or small plants in the soil.
  • Water plants when they are thirsty.
  • Pull the weeds.
  • Make something to eat with your family. Use the food you pick.

Sourced by: Nibble for Health 33 Nutrition Newsletters for Parents of Young Children, USDA Food and Nutrition Service