Beyond Celiac Blogger Ambassador Cindy Gordon of Vegetarian Mamma takes a fun approach to helping kids focus on what they can eat, not what they can’t.
Garden season is upon us, so it’s time to dust off those pots and till the soil. You can grow a successful garden whether you have a big plot in your yard or a balcony with a few pots. All it takes is a little planning (and some extra help from your little ones).
If you are testing your green thumb for the first time this season, start with plants that typically grow well. You should research what varieties grow best for your region, but tomatoes, radishes, bell peppers, zucchini, kale and beans are usually great for beginner gardeners. If you are planting in pots, herbs, cherry tomatoes, beans, hot peppers, bell peppers and strawberries will thrive.
Involving your children in gardening is not only a relaxing family activity, but it also just might encourage your children to taste new foods. Remember to keep it fun! Gardening with your children is a perfect way to focus on the positive. Especially if your children have celiac disease or food allergies, gardening lets them focus on the delicious, safe foods that they can eat. I found that including my children in the growing process makes them more invested in their food choices.
You can grow your plants from seed, but at this time of year, young plants are available at local nurseries. Have your children help select the plants and put them into the ground or pots. Allow them to get dirty during the process. Make planting and caring for the plants fun by checking out all the bugs you see and talking about the different colors and textures growing around you. Try to involve your children in regular the watering and weeding. Be flexible, as your children might not have interest every day, but encourage their participation when they are most interested.
One of the most exciting points of the gardening season is harvesting your produce. The excitement will build as you and your children watch the vegetables and fruits grow from tiny seedlings into delicious food. Make sure your children help harvest, as most will enjoy tasting the fruits of their labor right off the vine!
Looking for some ways to use up all that garden zucchini? Check out these easy gluten-free recipes from Vegetarian Mamma.
Cindy Gordon is the owner and author of Vegetarian Mamma and is a foodie who loves to blog about gluten-free vegetarian/vegan recipes. Her family also focuses on foods that are peanut, tree nut, dairy and gluten-free. Cindy’s family is dedicated to finding/creating recipes and products that fit their family’s allergy needs. Cindy resides in Ohio with her husband and two boys (born ’07 & ’10). She enjoys spending time with her family, the outdoors, gardening, wine and cooking!