How Getting Your Children Involved In Growing Vegetables At Home Can Teach Them Valuable Life Lessons

One of the best things you can do as a parent is to cultivate an interest in healthy eating habits. How can you do that? Well, by literally teaching cultivation. By teaching your children all about growing vegetables, you can help them not only learn an indispensable life skill but give them a true sense of character through imparting life lessons as well.

Lesson 1: Where Your Food Comes From
We are so used to going to grocery stores to get our food. Whether it’s a zucchini, an apple or even a box of crackers, we have been programmed to put it all in our shopping carts and take it to the register without a moment’s thought about all the processes that brought it there – from growing to harvesting to shipping.

If you ask a young child where all the fruits and vegetables in the produce section of a grocery store come from, they might just shrug and assume it’s just there like magic. Who can blame them? After all, when was the last time you stopped and thought about where the food you bought came from? In our eyes, it might as well be magic.

By starting with a packet of seeds and putting them in the soil, you can show your child how a tomato, spinach or basil plant is grown. This will help them to understand how food is something to be cherished. After all, it doesn’t just appear magically; someone has to grow it.

Lesson 2: The Power of Patience
Do you remember how, as a child, everything seemed to take forever? Waiting for school to end, waiting for Christmas to come, etc. It never seemed like anything happened soon enough. This is understandable, as young children don’t have enough life experience to not feel restless waiting.

In today’s society it’s become even harder to be patient, even for adults. We have high-speed internet, six-minute microwave meals and smartphones, so we have become conditioned to expect everything immediately. If we have to wait we feel frustrated.

Seeds don’t care how impatient you’re feeling; they will grow according to nature. Of course, you have to do things like water them and plant them properly. Besides that, it’s a matter of patience. You can’t yell at a seed to make it grow faster.

You can teach your child a great lesson this way. They might not care whether or not the vegetables you planted together grow overnight or after weeks and months, but you can show them the gradual process of growth that occurs and help them appreciate how a tiny seed can become something incredible if you just give it time. Pretty soon they might understand the meaning behind “good things come to those who wait.”

Lesson 3: Following Instructions
You can’t just throw some seeds in the soil, pour some water on sporadically and expect a healthy plant. When it comes to growing vegetables, you have to follow instructions specific to each plant. Just like in life, you have to understand the rules if you want to succeed.

All plants have their own specific guidelines for growth. For instance, parsley needs six hours of direct sunlight on a daily basis along with air as moist as possible. Lettuce needs to be planted at least four inches deep. Thyme requires a specific blend of soil in order to grow properly.

It might seem like this is a lot to remember or follow. However following instructions is crucial when it comes to growing vegetables. After all, what good does it do to go to the trouble of growing something if you won’t follow the rules? It might seem like a bit of a pain to follow the direct requirements of each plant but it would be even more frustrating to not get any vegetables out of it.

By demonstrating the importance of following instructions when growing vegetables, you will help your children understand that life isn’t something you can take shortcuts through. They must understand that true success is rarely found through trying to avoid the rules. When they understand this, they will understand how much hard work matters when it comes to succeeding.

Lesson 4: Staying Healthy and Fit
There’s a reason why we’re growing vegetables, not candy, right? We don’t have to tell you the benefits of vegetables when it comes to being healthy. There’s no time like the present for your children to learn healthy eating habits.

Though they might be normally resistant to vegetables put on their plate at dinnertime, growing vegetables themselves should be a different story. They are more likely to feel pride in having grown something themselves and should be less resistant to eating it. This will help them develop a positive relationship with vegetables in their diet. If they are old enough, you can also tell them about the individual nutritional benefits of each vegetable, from the iron in spinach to the vitamin C in squash.

Lesson 5: Teamwork
You and your children will be growing vegetables together, so this is the perfect opportunity to show them what happens when you work together. You can delegate the tasks between you and your children and make sure that everyone is on the same page. This will help your child when it comes to times when they need to work cooperatively with others, whether it’s in school or on a sports team.

We hope these lessons are enough to give you a great idea of how beneficial growing vegetables can be for you and your child. Not only will you be granted healthy and delicious food, you will also be giving your child life lessons that will stick with them forever. To them, it might just seem like you’re growing some food. However, when they look back on this experience they’ll realize just how much it shaped them. You’re never too old to learn good habits, but it’s best to learn them as young as possible.

George is a fanatic when it comes to everything gardening related. Gardening is his form of meditation and the garden is where he feels best. He hopes to be able to share this experience with others that have an interest by writing about it on his blog and providing actionable advise that is easy for others to follow.

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