Getting kids excited about gardening and or eating vegetables can be a tall order. Getting kids excited about dirt, water and worms, on the other hand, is often a much easier task. Case and point, The Littlest Wissmann…

Start Small

Kids are naturally curious about nature and tapping into that curiosity can be a great way to increase their comfort with, and eventually their desire to eat more vegetables. Giving kids seeds, some soil, and access to water can be an easy first step to your kids choosing more vegetables at mealtime. This strategy works so well, many schools are sprouting up their own gardens on school property and introducing gardening into the school curriculum.

Even if you don’t have a lot of space outside for a vegetable garden, kids can easily grow their first crops in containers. You’ll watch their vegetables sprout and their excitement grow with each passing week. Tomatoes, lettuce, zucchini, cucumbers, and many herbs can be easy first crops.

Kid-friendly Gardening Tools Help!

5 Steps to Your Container Garden

  1. Find containers with holes in the bottom to promote good drainage and that will be large enough to hold your plant at full-size. A 5-gallon bucket (with holes drilled in the bottom for drainage) is the perfect size for a full-grown tomato, zucchini, or cucumber plant.
  2. Purchase high quality soil from your local gardening shop that is specific for growing vegetables.
  3. Check the seed packages to determine what time of year or month they need to be planted. If you’re past that date, you can get a jumpstart on your garden by purchasing seedlings at your local garden shop.
  4. Place your container in a sunny location that gets at least 6-8 hours of sun daily.
  5. Water often, as your container garden will dry out much more quickly than plants grown in the ground. Keep your vegetables in a convenient location so that you’ll notice when they start to dry out.

Empowered Kids Eat More Veggies

Put you kids in charge of caring for the plants and you’ll be amazing at how excited they’ll get over a piece of lettuce. If your first container gardens are a success, consider giving your kids a plot of space in your yard and watch their love for plants (and vegetables!) grow.

Jennifer McDaniel

Jennifer McDaniel is a Registered Dietitian, Media Spokesperson, and co-author of Prevention's Mediterranean Table Cookbook. She and her team of Registered Dietitians aim to help their clients go further, make change last, and unlock their potential. She lives in St. Louis, MO with her husband, and three young sons. If you are interested in working with Jennifer, please visit our contact page.