Garden Season Is Here! 5 Easy Edibles Kids Can Grow
There’s a lot to love about spring, but for us, fresh produce definitely tops the list—greens, root veggies, and more are coming into season, making healthy and tasty meals a lot easier to achieve. And there’s nothing better than growing your own! Not only are you avoiding possible pesticides, growing your own veggies is a fantastic learning experience for kids even as young as two or three.
Seeing the combination of seeds, water, sunlight, and time produce a living thing is awe-inspiring to little ones, and the act of gardening shows them where food comes from, teaches them responsibility and patience, and gives them the opportunity to get their hands a little dirty. (Not to mention, kids are much more likely to eat veggies if they had a hand in the growing process.)
If your child is on the older side, you can extend the learning benefits even more. Is he having a hard time learning the alphabet? Have him practice writing the names (or even just some of the letters in the names) of each plant on individual popsicle sticks. Is she struggling with her numbers? Pull out a ruler and keep track of how tall the plants grow, focusing on the numbers on the ruler.
With all those possible benefits, why not jump right into the gardening fun? Here’s five easy plants for your child to try growing:
1. Leafy Greens
Healthy and beautiful, a variety of salad greens (like arugula, mizuna, spinach, and romaine) are ideal for kids to tend to because the time between planting and harvest is so short! Most can be grown in just a few short weeks.
These shy orange cuties are a lot of fun because their green shoots grow quickly while their sweet roots stay hidden for a few weeks. That first glimpse of orange is sure to surprise her!
Many radish varieties will grow roots big enough to eat in just 21 days! Remember: One radish seed will grow into a single radish, not a cluster, so plant accordingly. Choose sweet, kid-friendly varieties like Hailstone or Daikon—if your youngster doesn’t care much for veggies in the first place, we suggest serving them cooked rather than raw for a smoother flavor.
This fragrant staple can be grown indoors or out! If you’re planning to use your basil to make a big batch of pesto for pasta night, make sure to grow several plants. If you only have room for a few, use the basil for seasoning instead, and have your child harvest individual leaves when you need them for a stir-fry or curry dinner.
With their short roots, strawberries are a great choice for planting in a pot—and your little one will love eating the end result. (And don’t think they’re solely dessert food, either! There’s a ton of ways you can incorporate this little fruit into your mealtime rotation.)