Healthy Summertime Kids: Get that garden started!
Looking for summertime activities for kids? We’ve got some, which are not only fun and educational, but also will build healthy habits for everyone involved!
Growing plants is a favorite among children–they love watching the plants change from week to week. It is educational and can help children grow an interest in new fruits and vegetables.
Location: You can start small with a small pot, some soil, and a few seeds, or if you have the space, take a trip to the hardware store and build a few raised beds! You can plan a very large garden in a yard, or a small one for your porch.
Variety: Flowers are pretty, but I enjoy planting food! Vegetables can be very easy to grow, and they can win the love of some picky eaters. Herbs such as parsley, scallions, thyme, and basil are great for small pots. If you have more room, tomatoes, peas, and cucumbers are some fast-growing favorites. It is fun to watch pea and cucumber plants climb up and over fences as they grow. They are also very mild and sweet tasting, which most children love. But why stop there? Arugula, otherwise known as rocket salad grows very quickly, and as a member of the cruciferous family, is fantastically healthy! Spinach, Swiss chard, zucchini, and peppers are all easy to grow as well.
Planting: Some plants are better to start from seed, and others are more successful to buy already started. In a hurry? Buy plants already started. Want the full effect and have a little more time? Start from seed! Also try saving seeds from the plants you grow for another crop.
-Ask the children if they can identify the baby plants by looking at pictures of the full gown version and their leaves.
Gently rub the leaves of herbs and use your sense of smell to identify the plant.
-Look for recipes using the fresh vegetables or herbs you have grown together.
-Grow seeds into sprouts and eat them in sandwiches or salads. This only takes a few days!
Did you know? Cut off the root end of store-bought scallions and place them in a cup with just enough water to cover the roots. The plants will re-grow from the top up if placed near a light source. Once they have grown a few inches, plant them! This also works for some lettuces, celery, leeks, and more.
Marina works with the families of children with Autism, Asperger’s, PDD-NOS, ADD, and ADHD to create a unique roadmap towards improved health. Parents are valued as equal partners and are ultimately responsible for the case management of their child’s treatment. Together, a realistic nutrition care plan will be developed to both fit the child’s lifestyle, yet meet his or her health needs in a safe manner.
Book an appointment here for personalized nutrition for children and families. If healthy eating habits don’t start now, when will they?