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Does Gardening Encourage Kids to Eat Their Vegetables?

I’ve always been one of the lucky parents. My two oldest love their vegetables for the most part. I assume the baby will once she’s big enough.

I can’t really say that there’s a secret, as I’m sure that what we’ve done won’t work for every family. But it sure works for us.

I’ve often wondered if a part of it is that we introduced vegetables so very early. There’s some debate as to whether or not introducing veggies before fruits to a baby has any impact, but that’s what we did. We started our two oldest on green beans.

And when they got older, they loved green beans so much that they literally ate them like candy when we grew them in the garden for the first time. “Please, Mommy, can we have more green beans? Pleeease?”

It was cute. And how could I possibly say no?

The garden I think of as the other part of our secret. My kids love it. They love snacking from it. They love finding fresh food in it. They even had fun helping us plan it.

This year’s garden, unfortunately, is going to be inherited by whoever rents this place after we move out. I hope it happens soon enough that the garden survives. We’ve gotten some produce from it, and the kids have certainly been enjoying it all.

I won’t say my kids eat all the vegetables we’ve grown. But they’ve enjoyed most of it.

Mere exposure to a garden certainly isn’t enough. It took me a couple of days to get across to the neighbor’s kids that the front yard cherry tomato plant was not to supply them with ammunition for tomato fights. Grrrr!

I wouldn’t care if the neighbor kids wanted to snack on them the way my kids do, but I’m not going to encourage food fights! Such a waste. But they don’t like tomatoes, so they just saw them as ammo.

A big thing to remember is that even if the garden doesn’t encourage your kids to eat their vegetables, it can’t hurt to try. You’re increasing their exposure to fresh food, probably eating a bit better yourself if you’re the only one eating the produce, and so demonstrating better eating habits. It may pay off over a longer term.

2 Responses to Does Gardening Encourage Kids to Eat Their Vegetables?

  1. I absolutely think having a garden encourages kids to eat vegetables, at least in my family!! My son refuses to eat vegetables, until our garden is in bloom, then he anxiously waits for cucumbers and zuchini to be ripe!