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How to Make A Snacking Garden

A snacking garden is a great way to teach children about growing and loving vegetables, fruits and herbs. Gardening with children teaches them responsibility, life skills, and a love for vegetables early on!

 

kids with vegetables

 

Once upon a time, my husband told my girls to stop eating spinach. Yes, you read that right. “Girls,” he said “Stop eating all the spinach from the garden!”

 

I look at him and literally blurted out “Are you kidding me?!” amidst loud guffaws.

 

Raising children who love to eat vegetables seems like a daunting task, right?  But what if it wasn’t so daunting? What if you were telling your children to STOP eating vegetables because they had literally eaten bowls full of cherry tomatoes in their treehouse, handfuls of spinach by the swings, and instead of asking for popsicles and chips they were sneaking just one more baby cucumber out of the garden beds?

 

An edible snacking garden is my favorite way to get kids to love eating vegetables without even realizing it! It is kind of sneaky, but not like hiding pureed vegetables into meatballs sneaky. Not only will gardening help your children learn to love vegetables, but it will also help them learn care for other things, to have a sense of responsibility, and science. Valuable life skills and family time happen in the garden!

 

I love watching my girls pick fresh veggies straight from the garden and pop them straight in their mouth! And soon you can choose to tell your kids to stop eating vegetables, too! Or… not.

 

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kids shelling peas

 

How To Build A Snacking Garden

  1. Start by deciding where you want your garden and how big you want it to be. You need a spot with plenty of sunshine.
  2. Decide if you want to plant in the ground, to build a small bed, a medium sized raised bed, or to use several containers. It all depends on the space you have available! I suggest starting small, and then slowly increasing what you do.
  3. Decide if you want to start seeds or to grow seedlings. I think its fun to do a combination of both – for example, tomatoes, zucchini, and other vegetable with smaller seeds are great to start from seedling – unless you really want 50 cherry tomato plants. Peas, beans, and cucumbers all have larger sized seeds which are fun for little fingers to plant.

 

growing carrots with kids

 

How To Garden With Your Kids

Get your kids involved in every step of the process!

Have them help you pick out which vegetables to grow, and have them help you plant everything. Every day have them help you water, weed, and check on the plants. Remember, the idea here is not to have a perfect garden. The idea is to have fun! So relax and have fun getting dirty with your kiddos!

Give them their own space – Allow the kids to dig, water, experiment, play with worms, and generally get dirty.

Give them their own tools that fit their size. We really like this great gardening tool set and this great handheld garden tool set as well. Having tools that fit their hands and that they can feel comfortable using will go a long way!

 

picking apples

 

What to Plant In A Snacking Garden: Easy Crops Grow With Kids

Plant easy to care for items that tend to be prolific. The idea here is not to grow enough of any one item for any kind of a sizable harvest, but instead to encourage your children to snack on what you are growing instead of asking for candy or chips. These items are our favorites to grow, because they are easy and usually produce a lot of bounty!

 

Gardening with Kids

When your garden is growing nice and big, its time to harvest! Now, the point of a snacking garden is to – you know, snack! Make sure you show your children the correct way to harvest each type of food you are growing so they don’t damage the plants, and show there where and how to wash them before sacking. But sometimes no matter how much snacking you do, you have a plethora of produce! One year we had the most ridiculously bountiful cherry tomato plant and literally could not eat them all! Have your kids get into the kitchen with you and create simple recipes they will enjoy with their hard work (read more about how to cook and bake with your children).

Try this awesome and simple pico de gallo with cherry tomatoes, or this 10 minute zucchini pasta with pesto recipe!

Try these fun activities for gardening with children, too!

 

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A snacking garden is a great way to teach children about growing and loving vegetables, fruits and herbs. Gardening with children teaches them responsibility, life skills, and a love for vegetables early on! Gardening with Children, Growing Easy, Vegetables, Teaching kids to love vegetables,

3 Comments

  • Reply
    Val - Corn, Beans, Pigs & Kids
    May 3, 2018 at 5:02 PM

    Love this idea! My kids have their own garden actually and this year and their plan I think is pumpkins and sunflowers. Not a snacking garden but something that they love harvesting!

    • Reply
      Jenni
      May 5, 2018 at 2:28 AM

      That is so fun! Pumpkin and sunflowers are both really fun choices for kids to grow, too!

  • Reply
    Kelli Kerkman
    May 5, 2018 at 11:01 AM

    Such a fun idea! I don’t have kids, but I think I need my own snacking garden – I always end up buying the same things from the store anyway!

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