It is difficult to pick up a publication and not see an article about childhood obesity and obesity-related complications, including type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Through gardening we can introduce preschool children to healthy food options and what better place than on the outdoor playground. Growing fruits and vegetables provides an opportunity for learning about proper nutrition, the Food Pyramid, vitamins, and minerals, which leads to an awareness of and respect for a healthy lifestyle.
The children will enjoy digging in the dirt, planting seeds, watering, weeding and documenting and observing the growing process. With so much labor invested in the process they will certainly be curious to harvest, clean and sample the “fruits of their labors”. Children will learn that fresh is good — fun and tasty. Preschool children can learn the merits of eating food plucked from mother earth instead of a box, wrapper or deep fryer.
To start your garden, find a patch of soil in a sunny location protected from run away balls, riding toys and running feet – raised gardens work best. Make your own or check out The Adventurous Child Pizza Garden and The Adventurous Child Root Garden.