Want Your Child to Eat Their Veggies: Plant a Garden
It’s finally starting to feel like spring in Kansas City. That means it’s gardening season. If you have young children, gardening can be much more than a hobby and a way to cut your grocery bill, it’s a powerful teaching tool and a great way to get young children to eat their veggies.
Heather Waterfield, TFC Early Education Professional Development Specialist, has worked with several area child care centers to establish gardens and develop curriculum that helps children learn in a hands-on way. To Waterfield, the success is clear, “For children, watching a small seed grow into a vegetable, something they can eat, is magic. Time after time, I see that when children experience that “magic” they are much more likely to try, and enjoy, fresh vegetables.”
Beyond introducing children to new foods and encouraging healthy eating habits, gardening has some serious benefits for young children:
- It is a great opportunity for parent-child bonding.
- It promotes hands-on learning and scientific discovery.
- Caring for plants teaches responsibility.
- It builds self confidence. Watching plants sprout and grow gives children a sense of achievement.
Limited on space? You don’t need to till up your backyard for a garden, you probably have a few containers lying around that would make great planters. Check out our Pinterest board for creative planter ideas, fun garden-related activities, and planting tips.
Find out how TFC is working with Kansas City area child care centers to provide hands-on learning opportunities and fresh produce for area preschoolers.