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Growing Vegetables with Kids


mixed vegetables

There is nothing quite like the delight of growing your own vegetables. Generally growing vegetables is easy (compared to other plants), depending on the type chosen. Nor do you need masses of space to grow vegetables or a specified vegetable plot, since there are more and more possibilities for growing vegetables in containers, such as potato planters, plant pots, hanging baskets or window boxes.

Vegetables are actually some of the easiest plants to grow, especially from seed. To encourage your child's enthusiasm, let them choose from the easy vegetables to grow list and you will both be delighted with the results.


Growing vegetables with your kids is likely to encourage them to eat more veg too - especially for the fussy eaters! Let them choose the vegetable seeds, plant and tend them together, and finally harvest the fresh vegetables. A lot of homegrown vegetables taste a LOT better when they are fresh and not mass produced or forced commercially. Tasting the difference between tinned peas and fresh peas from the pod is like eating a completely different vegetable.

longest parsnip

The longest parsnip in the World!
(well, sort of!)

You can also experiment with different vegetables easily. Your child doesn't like spinach? Then try growing swiss chard instead. Thinks tomatoes are yucky? Try growing small yellow or red cherry tomatoes instead - they tend to be sweeter and much more popular with kids.

And growing vegetables is FUN! Check out our 'longest parsnip in the World!' - well sort of, the longest one we have grown anyway!

Kids just love digging up the potatoes, parsnips and carrots - it's like digging for buried treasure. And watching seeds grow from tiny seedlings into grown, mature plants, tending them and keeping an eye on their progress, protecting them from invaders (in the form of slugs and bugs!), really is quite an adventure.

Still not convinced about growing your own vegetables?

The benefits of growing vegetables yourself:

  • You are assured fresh vegetables. A lot of vegetables lose at least some of their vitamins as soon as they are gathered, so being able to take them from the garden or balcony to the table in a matter of minutes, ensures you gain the maximum possible health benefits from your homegrown vegetables. The Life Healthy Guide has some useful information on nutritional values of fresh vegetables together with recipe idea for all the most common homegrown vegetables.
  • Value for money. In just about every case it is much cheaper to grow your own vegetables, than to buy them at the local shop or supermarket. A few courgette (zucchini) seeds will grow into large plants which produce abundant crops. (Sometimes too many - last year we had so many courgettes, we were giving them away because we simply couldn't eat them as fast as they were ready for harvesting, and the freezer was already full!)
  • Growing vegetables which are not readily available in your area. For example, for some reason it is really difficult finding parsnips where we live, and when they do turn up in the shops, they are very expensive. So we grow our own - problem solved and roast parsnips galore at almost no expense!
  • You can grow organic vegetables. Growing vegetables organically simply means not using non-organic compost, fertiliser or pesticides. For people or children who are particularly sensitive to chemicals, this is a brilliant alternative to buying organic vegetables, and the cost is a fraction of that in shops.
  • Children actually learn where vegetables come from, how they grow and what they look like. Not only that, but they learn how to prepare vegetables for eating from scratch. Given that more and more children seem to have difficulty recognising basic vegetables, let alone know what to do with them, growing vegetables yourself is providing them with a valuable life skill and education - while they have fun and plenty of fresh air!

And on a Personal Note ...

Looking for Vegetable Recipes?

Healthy recipes for kids and the whole family! - Want to see your kids eating healthier and excited about it? Our healthy recipes for kids (and the whole family) and ideas to get kids excited about cooking and eating healthy can help.

Vegetarian Society Recipes Index - A list of hundreds of recipes from complete meals to light snacks.

I first fell in love with the idea of growing my own vegetables when I was still quite a young child. My grandfather was a keen gardener, and I was overawed at the neat rows of carrots, lettuce and cauliflower, and loved walking through a tunnel of runner beans and looking for the longest ones to take in for my grandmother to cook for dinner. His greenhouse smelt deliciously of tomato plants, and to this day, the smell of a tomato takes me back to the warm humid greenhouse in the corner of his garden.

It was due to my grandfather that I first asked my dad for a patch of garden to grow vegetables myself, and remember the first seeds I sowed and how proud I was to show my mum the radishes I had grown all by myself. My enthusiasm for growing vegetables has rubbed off on my own children, and deciding which vegetables to plant, preparing the ground, sowing and tending the plants and finally harvesting the produce and eating it, is a joint activity which we all enjoy!


Next: Easy To Grow Vegetables >

 

 

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Instead of the Credit Crunch, try the Carrot Crunch!

Get fresh air, excercise, organic produce, teach your kids life skills and at the same time, save those pennies - all that and more simply by growing your own veg!

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All Year Round Delight - Sprouting Seeds!

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growing swiss chard

Swiss Chard - the neglected vegetable ...

This almost forgotten alternative green is easy to grow and crops for months, so why not give it a try? Read more!

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looseleaf lettuce

Not quite sure where to start?

Try growing some loose-leaf lettuce, either indoors or outside. It is easy to grow and matures quickly. Read more!

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One really neat idea for kids!

Watch vegetables grow before your very eyes with this exciting and educational Root Vegetable Viewer spacer.

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