Growing Vegetables & Healthy Kids

Posted on Posted in Educate yo' self, Inspiration, Kids

In my last post I wrote briefly about getting our son involved in planting seeds for the garden. I wanted to expound on this topic a tiny bit because I think it is so important and here’s why:

Photo Credit: FoodCorps.org

In addition to those stats, 16 million kids in the US don’t have enough to eat. That makes me really sad. Despite this statistic though, in 2011 10-15% of low income children ages 2-4 were obese.

This is a big problem, obviously.  And unfortunately, there isn’t one magical solution.  That said, I think a good place to start is at home, with a garden. There may be a little bit of an investment upfront to buy supplies, but the savings at the end of the day are incredible. Not only in your health and the health of your kids, but of course, on your grocery bill too.

Here’s the deal…

Kids need to know what healthy food is, they need to know where it comes from.

Nutrition education starts at home, folks. Knowledge is power and in this case, knowledge is health.

IMG_20130807_182520_939Kids are naturally curious, always moving, talking, and inquiring. If you want your kids to eat more vegetables, get them engaged in the process. Give those little brains something to eat while growing something to eat! My son would not eat raspberries until he saw them growing in our yard and then he wouldn’t even share the harvest sometimes, little punk.

Think about this…in 2030 our childhood obesity epidemic will cost us:

$66 BILLION/year in direct medical costs
$390-$580 BILLION/year in lost economic productivity

(source: http://healthyamericans.org/report/100/)

If you are surviving paycheck to paycheck and have a family of mouths to feed, you can’t afford not to have a small garden.  Even if you don’t have a yard, there are many vegetables  and herbs you can grow in pots on a windowsill. Look at your space and see where you can grow stuff. Get creative. Most importantly, stop thinking about it and just do it. Google is your teacher, if you don’t know how to get started just Google it!

Bottom line (and then I’ll end this short rant), as parents we need to prevent our kids from developing diseases of the industrialized world – diabetes, obesity, auto-immune conditions, heart disease, the list goes on. We need to change the mindset from treating disease to preventing disease. And I believe that change starts at home, with some seeds, a little soil, water, sunlight, and the motivation to be healthy.

If you have some funds to spare, check out FoodCorps.org if you want to donate to a group that is making a difference in schools all over the country. I’m not affiliated with these folks at all, just think what they are doing is pretty cool.

Now, look out your window and see where you can throw down some kale seeds.

It’s not too late to start your garden for this season!