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Parenting & Education in Ireland

Kids in the Garden:
Positive Benefits of Teaching Kids about How to Grow Food

With childhood obesity on the rise in Ireland, there has never been a more important time to teach kids about growing food. We live in a society where kids are being targeted by fast food companies with junkfood on both the TV and the internet. Education on where food comes from, how it is grown, and how we once prepared it is becoming lost.

Critically, children must be encouraged to eat healthy and taught how food is made and produced. One of the most proactive ways to educate and motivate them to eat right is by teaching them how to grow food.

Fostering a love of growing food will give them the proper tools to make the right nutritional choices through their life and may give them an interest in environment forever. Here is some of our tips and advice for getting kids into growing green:

How to Start

Parents and teachers can teach kids about growing food by starting their own garden. If gardens and greenhouses are not accessible, alternatives like window boxes, local community allotments or even a small herb garden can teach kids vital lessons about the cycle of growing from seed to plate. Read our article for top tips on getting kids interested in gardening.

When to Start?

Kids as young as toddlers can learn about growing by learning how to pot seeds and simple plants either in the garden or in window pots.

Many young children’s books, such as these, can also help encourage kids and reinforce a positive message about growing food.

For tips, start toddlers off with simple potted plants like herb seeds and quick sprouting seeds like beans and peas that can grow indoors and outside.

PS Let them get their hands dirty!

Reap what you Sow!

Kids who grow their own veg are more likely to eat vegetables! Kids who know all about carrots, herbs, peas and beans will understand why they are simply better than sweets and fast food.

Environmental Awareness

Teaching kids about growing food will help them learn about the environment. Such as the best soil to use, (and manure!) importance of correct moisture, they will also learn about garden wildlife and insects and what plants grow in which seasons. It can also teach them about broader terms such as farming and cultivation.

Furthermore, growing their own organic food at home will teach them about the difference between regular farming and organic.

Organic food produced by organic farming is food that has been grown without the use of harmful pesticides or chemicals.

Organic fruits and vegetables free from harmful substances are better for our bodies.

Teaching kids about the importance of choosing foods that are healthier, is a valuable life lesson when they are teens choosing their own food or when they are leaving home to college or emigrate!

There is a simple magic from taking food from seed to create something tasty! For more on kids health and wellbeing see our guide on cooking with kids!

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