I have two children, ages 3 and 11. The three-year-old’s diet consists of Pirate's Booty, gluten-free coffee cake and gluten-free pretzels. The 11-year-old’s diet is a little better, but like her daddy she doesn't load up her plate with fresh produce that often.
I decided this spring that I'd had enough of their crappy diets, and I went on a mission to figure out how to get fruits and veggies into their cute little tummies.
The plan was to garden.
If the kids enjoyed the process (and how could they not?), they would most likely want to garnish their plates with their own desserts.
Gardening is a brilliant way to involve the entire family in the process of learning about food and nutrition. The excuses I hear from most people, (including myself) are that it’s time consuming, too dirty and that they don’t have enough land.
I found a solution: a standing garden I could plant on my patio!
As a vegan, I can now grow the staples of my diet in my home with no mess! We don't have a huge plot of land to grow a “real” garden so seemed like the perfect alternative.
No dirt. No mess. Compact. Convenient.
I just planted my produce last week and I'm already started to see the plants bud and grow!
I planted lettuces, kale, green beans, snap peas, zucchini, watermelon, dill, basil, parsley, mint, cucumbers, tomatoes and more!
You don’t have to be a vegan to teach your children the magnificence of nature. When they're able to participate in the experience of seed to plant, they develop a different relationship to their food. Children are more likely to take ownership and are more likely to eat vegetables they've personally grown.
With farming lands so removed from urban dwellings, many kids grow up with the belief that their food come from markets. There's a disconnect between the food, where it comes from and how it's grown.
Fresh, home-grown veggies are way better, tastier and healthier than mass-produced, store-bought veggies anyway. The quality is unparalleled.
The cry for children to eat more nutritious foods at home and at school has hatched the Farm To Table Movement over the past several years. School systems are incorporating gardening into the curriculum in an attempt to involve the children in the food they eat at school. The movement has been wildly successful. Children are learning better eating habits and are discovering that eating whole foods IS crucial to their overall health and well-being.
With my new home gardening tool, I can teach my children this relationship at home as well.
I'm really excited about having fresh vegetables at my disposal.
I’d love to hear from you as to whether you are already gardening or whether this may be the solution to your excuses as well. Please leave a comment in the box below.