One way that I have tried to encourage David’s love of fruits and veggies is to expose him to how they are grown. As he has seen where they grow he has become more interested in at least trying them, and he loves to talk about them—whether he actually eats them or not—baby steps, right?
This summer David helped me to plant tomato plants in pots on our deck and we got to watch them grow from “baby plants” to big plants yielding tons of cute grape tomatoes. I think he enjoyed the process, and while he still won’t scarf down fresh tomatoes, he’s very excited about them, and that he helped to grow them in the garden.
^^^ I bought these two tomato plants as part of a 3 pack at Costco and look at how differently they grew!
^^^ Apparently I asked to take one too many pictures and the tomatoes were thrown to the ground. Ah toddlerhood.
We actually tried this last summer, but it was a total flop. I think David picked every single tomato when it was bright green. To his credit, he was only 18 months old at the time, but it was still challenging. This summer, at the advice of a friend, I told him that the tomatoes were tiny babies and that we had to be gentle and take care of them. I told him that they had to eat the dirt to get their vitamins so they would be strong. He mostly bought it and we didn’t lose too many green tomatoes!
Some day I hope to have the space to do some raised beds and grow more than just tomatoes and herbs. In the meantime though, David and I took some field trips to learn about other fruits and veggies.
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One spot was easy to visit—we just walked up the block to our community pea patch garden. These folks are serious gardeners and the variety of produce growing was amazing. David would actually cry on days that we would walk past without going in the garden. He loved to run between the beds identifying artichokes, cauliflower, kale, squash, cabbage and cucumbers. I’m always so proud at how well he knows his veggies!
^^^ You should have seen his teeth when we were done!
We also went blueberry picking with some friends this summer. It’s a fun activity, and I think David ate several pounds of blueberries while we were there—I always tell them that they should charge us double because he eats so many in the field! Picking blueberries also makes me appreciate how expensive they are in the store—that’s hard work!
The biggest highlight of our garden tour this summer was visiting the giant, and I mean huge, garden of our friend from church. She and her husband started it this summer for the first time and planted a little bit of everything, just to see what would grow. And EVERYTHING grew! We had so much fun learning about different varieties of veggies, and munching as we picked. I just showed David the pictures I prepared for this post and he could still identify all of the veggies and knew exactly where the pictures were taken (this was a month ago!).
^^^ I never knew you could trellis squash—aren’t those tendrils amazing? They just grab right on!
What do you do to get your kids involved in gardening or learning about where produce comes from? Now that we’re moving in to fall I’m looking forward to taking David both apple and pumpkin picking! More pictures to come!
^^^ He was insistent that he needed a gardening glove!
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