Grow Your Own Fruit and Vegetables Overview
If you want your child to grow and develop healthily, then fruit and vegetables are an absolute necessity. The trouble is, many kids just don't get enough of them. Why not grow your own seasonal fruit and veg? Growing your own can be a really fun way of motivating your child to eat more fruit and vegetables and it helps children to understand where their food comes from. You're also giving quality family time to your child and they can get a sense of achievement from it. As an added bonus, gardening will give your child some additional physical exercise and fresh air with all the known benefits this brings. Finally, if you get involved in an allotment or community scheme there is often a social side to it as well!
Fruit and vegetables provide lots of vitamins, minerals and fibre as well as being filling for relatively few calories. They are a significant benefit in helping fight the general trend of increasing BMI and obesity in children as well as helping to prevent many diseases in later life such as type II diabetes and heart disease. See our 'FIVE A DAY(FRUIT AND VEG)' article here for recommended intakes.
Growing your own fruit and vegetables means you will get the freshest tasting, seasonal food and you might even save some money. You may be surprised to know that growing your own is nowhere near as difficult as you might think and there's plenty of online help and advice to tell you what to do. We list some valuable links in our resource section below.
It is even possible to grow fruit and vegetables even without a garden or some rented land! Here are some of the options for growing your own:
- Your Garden
- A community garden (via a scheme)
- An allotment / rented land
- In containers in your back yard
- In a green house / glass house
- In baskets on a balcony
In the UK there are some land sharing, community based websites, which match people with land to share for growing produce with people who need some land to do so. One of the leaders is http://www.landshare.net/. In the United States, there is http://www.sharedearth.com/. In Australia, there is http://www.landshareaustralia.com.au/. The principle is that the landowner negotiates a share of the grown produce with the gardener. Note: this is not an endorsement. You must perform all due diligence before entering into any legal agreements.
Fruit and vegetables are essential to your child's health and long term well being. Growing your own fruit and vegetables with your children is a great way to encourage them to eat fruit and vegetables and for them to get a real sense of achievement and some lovely outdoor exercise. It's not difficult and it's great fun.
The University of California has an amazingly in depth website about growing fruits and vegetables in the United States.
The initiative has established school and community gardens throughout the country since 2009. This has a wide range of benefits from helping the environment, reducing hunger, increasing exercise and improving social aspects of a community.
Everything you need to know about growing your own food in the UK from the British Broadcasting Corporation. Click on the link then select 'Grow fruit and vegetables'.
Lots of hints and tips for children to grow beautifully tasty fruit and vegetables.
The benefits of family eating and also of dicing fruit and vegetables increases your child's health according to this report. Topics covered, many with videos, are as follows : Artichokes, Asparagus, Aubergines, chillies and peppers, Beans, Beetroot, Brassicas, Broad beans, Blueberries, Carrots, Celery, Chicory, Courgettes and squash, Cucumbers, Currants, Crops in pots, Espalier apples, Fruit trees, Grapevines, Gooseberries, Harvesting apples, Leeks, Onions and garlic, Peaches, Peas, Plant supports for peas, Potatoes, Pumpkins, Raspberries, Rhubarb, Salad plants, Spinach, chard and spinach beet, Strawberries, Sweetcorn, Tomatoes, Using a grow bag, Winter salad