Bonus: You'll teach them healthy habits in the process.
Parents are always looking for ways to get their kids to eat healthier. Sure, you can hide spinach in their smoothies and squash in their mac and cheese, but those tricks only last so long. A more fun way to play the healthy eating long game? Garden with your kids.
Why? It's simple really. If they grow it, they're more inclined to eat it.
If you're not a gardener yourself, no sweat! For one thing, there are plenty of fruits and vegetables that are easy to grow. Also, you don't need a ton of space or even an actual yard to garden with your kids. A few simple containers in a sunny spot can house tomatoes or herbs, and a trellis leaned up against a wall can support beans and peas.
Elise Pickett, Earth's Ally brand ambassador and the gardening educator behind The Urban Harvest suggests having them choose a fruit or veggie they actually enjoy eating. "Getting to watch it grow from seed to table is an amazing process that can create so much pride when they can say they grew this themselves."
Most importantly, set yourself up for success with crops that don't need a lot of fuss.
Here are Pickett's top picks for easy-to-grow fruits and vegetables when gardening with kids:
- Strawberries are perennial for most of the country, so once you get them planted they will bear reliably for years to come. And what child doesn't love peeking under the leaves for a bright red juicy strawberry?
- Green beans are an easy to grow, quick-producing crop that can be eaten while playing in the garden just as easily as they can be served for dinner.
- Tomatoes seem to be favorites among the littles, especially cherry tomatoes that they can pop right in their mouths. There are tons of different kinds from purple to yellow to pink with green stripes.
- Peas are great little climbers that kids can watch wind their way up the trellis. They are also a great garden snack with a crisp cool flavor that most kids love. Try a sugar snap or snow pea variety so they don't have to shell them.
- Fennel may come as a surprise but children seem to love the sweet licorice-like taste. Once it's established they can munch a few pieces as they go running by. Bonus, garden pests don't mess with them so they are very low maintenance.
Ready to get planting? Add a few of these to cart and get out there!
Packed with real metal tools that are totally kid-friendly including a spade, rake, fork and trowel, this easy-grab tote will make them feel truly helpful. (And they will be!) It also comes with a watering can and gloves so they can dig right in.
If things are getting serious, the adorable kid-sized wheelbarrow from Radio Flyer can help get the job done.
How do you make watering the garden even more fun? Put the water in a can that's shaped like a chameleon.
Bigger kids will love getting down to business with these scaled-down wood and metal tools.
If they're not into getting dirty (or you've tired of cleaning their fingernails four times a day), this 3-pack of cotton garden gloves is a great cheap investment.
Plan Toys Gardening Set
For the littlest in the bunch, this sweet wooden set of toys provides a safe and fun alternative—even if they're just sitting on the sidelines.
We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.