If you are one of those parents who are finding it difficult to convince your kids to eat healthy and balanced diet, gardening could be your life-saving activity. Your kids are going to love it and will develop love for food. On top of that, gardening helps kids’ brain and body while giving their soul a taste of nature.
Gardening doesn’t have to be for perfection. You don’t want to build a perfect yard but all you want is some fun with your kids. Just find any place whether it’s perfectly level or not. You can even use existing landscaping to grow certain edibles. You can grow beans against the outside wall and a few containers of soil placed outdoors can be all you need for growing herbs. Gardening doesn’t have to be overwhelming for you or for your kids.
Does gardening affect brain of your kids?
There is a myriad of scientific concepts you can discuss with your kids when planting and tending to a garden. One study showed that children who participated in gardening projects scored higher in science achievement than those who did not. The wonder of seeing a garden grow may spark your kids to ask questions like: Why do the plants need sun? How does the plant “drink” water? Why are worms good for the plants? Soon you will be talking about soil composition, photosynthesis and more! Add a little math while gardening by measuring how much plants are growing from week to week or counting the flowers on each plant. Supplement the experience of gardening with books about plants, trips to a botanical garden, or a photo journal of the plants that you are growing.
The produce that you are going to harvest from your garden will be rich in all kinds of vitamins, minerals and other essential and healthy nutrients. Eating this diet will help your kid develop a healthy brain. There are many foods that are known to help with cognitive development of human brain. All these foods are easy to grow which means your kids can grow them in their little gardens.
How gardening can affect the BODY:
When children participate in gardening, the fruits and vegetables that they are inspired to eat will no doubt have a positive effect on their body. But the act of gardening itself can also promote a healthy body. Kids LOVE to get their hands and feet in the dirt, which can run counter to the modern parenting style of compulsively keeping hands and surfaces cleaned and sanitized. However, consider the “hygiene hypothesis,” a theory that a lack of childhood exposure to germs actually increases a child’s susceptibility to diseases like asthma, allergies and autoimmune conditions by suppressing the development of the immune system. So getting dirty while gardening may actually strengthen a child’s immunity and overall health.
These days all kids could benefit from a little more physical activity and sunshine they’ll get while gardening. Activities like moving soil, carrying a heavy watering can, digging in the dirt and pushing a wheelbarrow can promote gross motor skills and overall strength for a more fit body. Plus, these activities, known as “heavy work,” have been shown to help kids stay calm and focused.
How gardening can affect the SOUL:
In this electronic age, kids need time for meaningful family connection. Time in the garden allows for team building and promotes communication skills. Planning a garden, planting the seeds and watching them grow give kids a sense of purpose and responsibility. Making sure that the plants get enough fertilizer, water and sun fosters mindfulness. The concepts learned while gardening, like composting food scraps for fertilizer or using gathered rainwater, can show kids a deep respect and responsibility for taking care of our planet.
Furthermore, studies show that when children have contact with soil during activities like digging and planting, they have improved moods, better learning experiences and decreased anxiety. Most important, the self-esteem a child gets from eating a perfect cucumber that he grew himself is priceless.
Read the full article at www.pbs.org