Part of teaching children a lifelong habit of healthful eating is giving them a reason to be invested in making their own food, which is one reason we love to cheer on gardening efforts. When a child watches a plant grow and change, it gives them a reason so be excited about turning it into food they can share and be proud of. Herbs make a fantastic starting point, and we love these tips from The Kitchn:
1. Choose a versatile, aromatic, and easy-to-maintain herb like basil or mint to start with.
2. When you bring the plant home, help your kids find a good spot and plant it in a pot with them.
3. Explain how the plant takes nutrients from the soil and sun to make nutrients we can use when we eat the plant.
4. Get them into the kitchen right away. Break a leaf to let them smell it and suggest you cook together with your herb tonight.
Herbs are generally very simple to start from seed if you have a good sunny window, which can extend the time in any given year you can spend growing food with your family. Letting your kids pick out their own herb to start from seed gives them an opportunity to be adventurous in the garden and will encourage similar boldness when it’s time to taste-test that thyme or rosemary they’ve cultivated all spring.