Watch Your Garden Grow

Do your children know where their vegetables come from? Do they think they come neat and clean from the grocery store produce aisle? Visiting a local farmers market could help teach your children a little more about the origin of their veggies but what about growing them yourselves? The PBS website quotes a study that claims children who participate in gardening have higher science achievement tests than those who did not. You may have never grown anything in your life either, but, don’t fear, you and your children can have a successful vegetable garden this summer!

Start Small

There are several vegetables that do not require much space or attention. If you have a small plot of land with adequate sunshine, you can have a garden! Even more popular currently are container gardens. Gather some 5-gallon buckets or planters to use if you have a lack of land. According to the website Earth Easy, some of the options you have for easy-to-grow vegetables include lettuce, snow peas, cherry tomatoes, and radishes. Have your children help in choosing what vegetables to grow to increase their interest in the project.

Teach Responsibility

One of the best child development moments in having a garden is teaching responsibility.  Louisiana State University’s Agricultural Center states that gardening promotes responsibility in children in a variety of ways. The various steps to gardening such as preparing the soil, planting the seeds, watering the plants, weeding, and finally harvesting all require attention and time from the children. Taking the time to do these tasks with their own garden can, in time, expand into other tasks around the home as well.

Eat Your Vegetables

Do you have a hard time getting your children to eat the vegetables you prepare for them? In a study published by the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics where children were involved in planting, caring for, and harvesting a fruit and vegetable garden, several positive results were found. Children reported trying fruits and vegetables they have never eaten as well as enjoying and even requesting more vegetables at home. Parents were thrilled to have their children willingly consuming more vegetables!

Although gardening might seem foreign and a lot of work or effort, there are a lot of benefits for you and your family. From teaching responsibility to new foods on the table, you might want to put planting a garden on your family’s to-do list this summer. You might just enjoy watching your children and your garden grow!

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