Learning & Development

Planting & Growing for Healthy Eating

sand pit sensory playground

Children won’t eat vegetables? They might if they grow their own!

Do you have trouble getting your children to eat their greens? New research shows that children who are introduced to the process of planting, growing and harvesting are more likely to want to eat vegetables at meal times. In fact they are five times more likely to enjoy salad when they have grown it themselves.

A team from Ohio State University and Cornell University in New York monitored 370 students eating lunch in their school canteen to see what they put on their plate and what they left behind.

On normal days just 2 per cent of students added salad to their main meal. But when the salad ingredients were those grown by pupils in a school project, 10 per cent chose the healthy option.

Outdoor play can encourage a healthy lifestyle.

So how can you introduce your children to to joys of planting, growing and harvesting? Research shows that outdoor play is one of the best way to get children in touch with nature. Outdoor play and nature play give children control over their learning, teaching them important skills in a fun and self-driven way.

So pick up some seeds, set aside a planting area, and give a little instruction about sowing, planting and watering. Then let the children take control, and before you know it they’ll be growing their very own salads!

Cress seeds make a great starting point; they’re quick to grow, can be grown almost anywhere, and most importantly the cress is delicious when grown! When the children have been taken by the planting bug, take them outside and let them experiment with different herbs and vegetables.

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