Spring is here so it's time to replant the veggie garden. I have to admit that I don't have a particularly green thumb but I try hard, I'm learning and I believe in having a go at things! Growing veggies is a great way to get kids invested and interested in fruits and veggies. I remember my two year old son rarely ate tomatoes until we planted some cherry tomatoes in a little pot in our tiny unit. They are now one of his favourites! Choosing what to plant can also be a great activity. Funnily enough, my kids favourite part is always measuring out the distance between the seedlings and of course watering! Invest in a little watering can that is appropriately sized to your child. My 4 year old even likes to water the garden with his water pistol!
2. Meal planning and market shopping
My 3 boys LOVE helping to plan the meals. I will often let them choose a meal to go on the fortnightly plan especially on the school holidays. Meal planning together gives me the opportunity to teach them about making sure they include a:
- GROW food (meat, meat alternative including tofu, eggs, beans)
- GO food (whole grains including pasta, flour, polenta, potatoes, rice ect)
- and of course lots of GLOW foods (colourful veggies. Aiming for half the dish or plate to be different coloured veggies).
I also like to take them shopping to the green grocers or market. They can be involved choosing the colours for the week (both fruit and veggies). This gives them the chance to interact with fresh produce away from the table. It's not about eating or tasting, it's about becoming familiar and comfortable with fresh produce. Learning what a ripe avocado is, smelling the cantaloupe to see if it's ready and checking the bottom of strawberry punnets for the best ones. I usually let them each choose something to eat as a snack after shopping, that's how my son first decided he liked raw mushrooms!
I'm looking forward to the time when my boys can cook me dinner but in the meantime, it's together cooking for us. From fruity baking (see our super snacks for inspiration) to lazy school holiday breakfasts (berry pancakes anyone?) to helping cook dinner (dinner recipes), cooking together is a lovely way to spend time together, get a 'chore' done, teach valuable life skills and create colourful and adventurous eaters!
Activities kids love in the kitchen:
- wash and scrub veggies
- cutting, kids just love cutting!! (try our great kids safety knives)
- mixing and blending
- tear lettuce and make salad
- roll meatballs
- crumb chicken or fish
- sprinkle seeds and herbs
- just helping and spending time with you
Make sure to teach your kids to help clean up afterwards too :)
So enjoy getting fresh and colourful with your kids these school holidays.
What fresh activities do you enjoy doing with your kids? Share in the comments below or join the conversation on our Facebook page.