Do you ever wonder how to get your kids to eat more vegetables? It can be a struggle. Yet if you get them involved in growing their own, kids tend to take a much bigger interest in eating their leafy greens. These seven easiest vegetables to grow for kids will show them the thrill of harvesting their own food and everything else that goes into growing your own veggies.
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Why Garden With Kids?
Gardening with kids has so many benefits. It's good for the kids, good for the adults, and good for the environment.
In a technology-based world, it can be difficult to get your kids away from a screen and outside. Gardening will make your kids spend more time outside, while also giving them something to be responsible for. The simple task of weeding and watering a plant requires consistency and responsibility every day for your children.
Also, teaching kids how to garden allows you to spend some quality time together, engaging in a timeless human activity. It gives them the chance to eat fresh, nutritious, and delicious produce regularly. Lastly, the more involved your kids become with their food, the more they will learn about and appreciate the food cycle.
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When to Start Gardening With Kids
You can start teaching them how to garden anytime. In the winter and off-season, we start planning next season's garden. We usually look back at old notes, seed catalogs and talk about what plants grew the best in specific areas of our garden last year. We decide what new plants we want to try, and what old ones we will keep in the rotation. Get your kids involved with the planning, and have them help sketch out a diagram of the garden.
Since kids can be so impatient, begin by choosing a few of the easiest vegetables to grow. Try getting started by growing seedlings indoors as well. We like to get plants started indoors during the late winter and early spring months, then transplanting them outside once the frost lifts.
With small pots or styrofoam cups and a bit of soil, your kids can start planting seeds like beans or tomatoes. Depending on the size of your container, these plants can grow to a variety of sizes before they’re ready for the main garden.
Planting the easiest vegetables to grow inside during the winter months will keep your children interested in gardening, and give them something to look forward to checking up on every day.
Getting Kids Into the Garden
Getting started gardening with your kids is easier than you think. However, it's important to choose the right vegetables. Remember, some vegetables can take months to harvest, and your kids could get impatient and lose interest.
In the winter months, we set up a small hydroponic garden in the kitchen. Here we grow microgreens and start seedlings to plant in the main garden when spring arrives.
If you don’t have hydroponics, get a few small pots and place them near a window with a lot of natural light. For outdoor gardening, we have a small patch of garden designated the kids' zone. With some assistance, they plant their seeds and seedlings and are responsible for watering and weeding their garden every day.
7 Easiest Vegetables to Grow With Your Kids
Check out seven of the easiest vegetables to grow for new gardeners and children.
Kids love growing beans. Green beans grow fast and provide a high yield. Plus, kids can harvest and snack on them right in the field. The short plant allows children to harvest the plant themselves. And the high yield means they’ll be busy harvesting for awhile!
Kidney beans are another easy option for growing vegetables indoors with kids. Just grab a few dried kidney beans. Then place them between two layers of damp paper towel in a glass jar. Put the jar in a warm, sunny window. Keep the paper moist.
Those beans should sprout in a few days and be ready to transplant to a planter in about 10 days. This simple seed germination activity for kids helps them learn about how plants and vegetables start to grow.
And by the way, we also have a list of 15 Fun Books About Seeds for Kids to help reinforce these lessons. Even better? Check out this post on 10 Simple Homeschool Gardening Ideas which includes several unique science angles to explore with your children.
Growing potatoes is easy, and kids love to dig them out of the ground. Try using the eyes from potatoes you have eaten. This can be a great lesson for kids, showing them how to reuse parts of old plants to grow more.
Tomatoes grow incredibly fast and keep kids excited. A single plant could produce many tomatoes. Many plants will continue ripening new tomatoes on the vine for weeks. Try growing tomatoes from seeds or seedlings. Even better? Learn how to save tomato seeds to plant for next year.
Tomatoes are also one of the easiest vegetables to grow in containers indoors. Find a sunny, warm spot in your home and watch them grow.
Possibly the easiest vegetable to plant and grow successfully, planting lettuce gives your kids something simple to start with. We suggest buying lettuce seeds or seedlings and starting with a good variety.
The different colors and leaves will keep your kids' interest. And lettuce grows fast. Your lettuce plants could be ready to harvest within three to four weeks depending on the variety. As an added bonus, they will continue to grow throughout the season, so your little ones can keep on harvesting.
For some reason, kids seem to love growing carrots. Carrots are just plain fun to harvest! Even better, even the fussiest eaters will be excited to try their own homegrown carrots.
Also, you can buy seeds for different colored carrots, like purple ones. Purple carrots? This will definitely keep your kids interested.
These don’t grow necessarily quickly, but it’s a joy for every child to grow their own pumpkin for Halloween. By the time the fall harvest arrives, the kids will be excited to harvest their pumpkin and start carving a Jack-O-Lantern. And then you can bake up a batch of these kid-friendly pumpkin chocolate chip muffins.
Some kids might not like the taste of radishes, but they’re extremely easy to grow. They’ll grow just about anywhere, and sprout within a few days. They’re ready to harvest in about 30 days. Quick enough for your kids to find out if they like the taste.
Some of the easiest vegetables to grow are the most simple and delicious. Whatever you decide to grow with your kids, they will enjoy it.
Gardening will teach them responsibility, and keep them outdoors appreciating nature as much as possible. Even the fastest-growing plants take a few weeks, so gardening will also teach your kids patience. Get started planning a garden with your kids today, and have everything ready to go by the time spring arrives.
This post is part of the Homestead in Your Homeschool Series which is included in the Homeschooling Fun Through the Summer series 2021.