Doing the right thing these days, especially for our kids, can be very confusing. Less TV, less sugar, less fat, more good fat, more exercise, less stress – and that’s all before 9AM!

If there’s one thing we do know that’s right, it’s what our mum’s taught us – eating more fruit and more veggies is always the right thing to do.

As parents, we know that healthy kids are happy kids. And we know it’s important that our children get the right nutrition throughout their little lives to make sure they stay healthy.

But getting kids to try, let alone eat, fruit and veggies can be a challenge. Gritted teeth and waving arms are only some of the barriers we face when we’re maneuvering mashed pumpkin towards our unwelcoming recipients. But, there is hope. Studies show that kids are more likely to try fruit and veggies if they understand where they come from. And this understanding can begin at home, outside in the backyard veggie patch.

These days, there is a veggie patch that’s perfect for every kind of backyard. From posses of pots, to up-cycled wooden crates, to elaborate arrays of garden beds, the humble veggie patch can be tailored to fit every home.

Apart from adding kudos to your yard, the veggie patch is an amazing place for kids. It gets them away from the TV and off our phone! It also encourages them to take part in physical activity. Digging compost, weeding and planting seeds keeps kids moving and burns up that endless energy that we wish we had!

It’s a place where children learn. Watering seeds and watching for first sprouts to appear is an experiential science lesson that can happen at home.



Children see plants developing, bees pollinating, and fruit and vegetables forming. The veggie patch teaches kids about responsibility.

Children learn about nurturing and caring for plants and begin to appreciate that food takes time to grow. This understanding helps build a connection between them and their food.

It also promotes time spent together with our kids. We can watch them ponder which seeds to plant, and then delight in finding ripe produce that they have helped to grow. Kids love to help, and the garden is the perfect place for them to take charge. We can let them enjoy being kids with no worry of wrecking the carpet or spilling water about.

The veggie patch also helps us harness the benefits of seasonal produce. It gives us access to year-round nutritional eating, providing us with the vitamins and minerals that our bodies need with each change of season.

Which brings us to what the veggie patch is all about – giving our children the fun experience of growing healthy food. The veggie patch gives our kids the time they need to discover things for themselves. We can let them take all the kid-time they need to look, dig and dawdle at whatever it is that grabs their attention. And we can know that they are learning and experiencing the healthy benefits of eating home grown produce.

Healthy food really is on our doorstep, and it’s also the food that our kids will be happy to eat. And that’s a win for parents and kids alike.

Have you started a veggie patch with your kids? Do they now try more veggies? Please share in the comments below.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com
Bianca C. Ross is the author of Herbert Peabody and the Incredible Beehive, now available at good book stores and online at www.herbertpeabody.com
  • My daughter likes to help water the vegie patch (-:

    Reply

  • great article…will be getting my daughter to help create a veg garden soon ♥

    Reply

  • Doing the right thing these days, especially for our kids, can be very confusing. Less TV, less sugar, less fat, more good fat, more exercise, less stress – and that’s all before 9AM!

    If there’s one thing we do know that’s right, it’s what our mum’s taught us – eating more fruit and more veggies is always the right thing to do.

    As parents, we know that healthy kids are happy kids. And we know it’s important that our children get the right nutrition throughout their little lives to make sure they stay healthy.
    But getting kids to try, let alone eat, fruit and veggies can be a challenge. Gritted teeth and waving arms are only some of the barriers we face when we’re maneuvering mashed pumpkin towards our unwelcoming recipients. But, there is hope. Studies show that kids are more likely to try fruit and veggies if they understand where they come from. And this understanding can begin at home, outside in the backyard veggie patch.

    These days, there is a veggie patch that’s perfect for every kind of backyard. From posses of pots, to up-cycled wooden crates, to elaborate arrays of garden beds, the humble veggie patch can be tailored to fit every home.

    Apart from adding kudos to your yard, the veggie patch is an amazing place for kids. It gets them away from the TV and off our phone! It also encourages them to take part in physical activity. Digging compost, weeding and planting seeds keeps kids moving and burns up that endless energy that we wish we had!

    It’s a place where children learn. Watering seeds and watching for first sprouts to appear is an experiential science lesson that can happen at home.
    Why you should grow a garden with your kids
    Edible gardens for small spaces
    Children see plants developing, bees pollinating, and fruit and vegetables forming. The veggie patch teaches kids about responsibility.

    Children learn about nurturing and caring for plants and begin to appreciate that food takes time to grow. This understanding helps build a connection between them and their food.

    It also promotes time spent together with our kids. We can watch them ponder which seeds to plant, and then delight in finding ripe produce that they have helped to grow. Kids love to help, and the garden is the perfect place for them to take charge. We can let them enjoy being kids with no worry of wrecking the carpet or spilling water about.

    The veggie patch also helps us harness the benefits of seasonal produce. It gives us access to year-round nutritional eating, providing us with the vitamins and minerals that our bodies need with each change of season.

    Which brings us to what the veggie patch is all about – giving our children the fun experience of growing healthy food. The veggie patch gives our kids the time they need to discover things for themselves. We can let them take all the kid-time they need to look, dig and dawdle at whatever it is that grabs their attention. And we can know that they are learning and experiencing the healthy benefits of eating home grown produce.

    Healthy food really is on our doorstep, and it’s also the food that our kids will be happy to eat. And that’s a win for parents and kids alike.

    Have you started a veggie patch with your kids? Do they now try more veggies? Please share in the comments below.

    Reply

  • heathy eating kids

    Reply

  • I’ve started a vegie patch and my toddler is really interested in it. I’m hoping it might lead to her eating more vegies!

    Reply

  • I would love to start a veggie patch with my kids but my backyard is small and does not get much sunlight in fact it grows moss haha so my question is will a veggie patch still grow in those conditions?

    Reply

  • my son loves helping me in the garden. thanks for sharing

    Reply

  • I agree its important for kids to eat well and healthy!

    Reply

  • My toddler loves helping with the veggie garden


    • oh that is cool. growing those uncle tobys oats.

    Reply

  • We have a veggie patch, as well as grow our own strawberries, raspberries, loganberries, cherries and plums. With some garlic. I definitely do think it has increased the variety of food the kids now eat. Not to mention it gets us all outside doing the gardening

    Reply

  • Whilst I love this idea so much, it’s never quite worked for us. I’m the master in killing off anything in the garden, so trying to teach my son has been pretty much a non-event. I know, I take full blame and responsibility!

    Reply

  • What a great article, it’s practical, it’s easy and wonderful to carry out with kids.

    Reply

  • children are a lot happier to eat what they have grown

    Reply

  • We’re lucky to have the room for a large vege patch, potted herb garden, and an orchard. Our kids have their own garden with their favourites. They regularly participate in the Yates Junior Landcare gardening competition (worth googling), and always seem to be munching on something outside. My kitchen window sill frequently has seeds drying after preparing tea or glasses filled with cuttings to pop back in the garden after they strike.

    Reply

  • Always had a vegie patch and my children advised what they would like to see growing – if we grew what they wanted it was wonderful to see them ‘pinching’ things from the garden and eating them when they thought I wasn’t looking. A great way to get children to eat vegetables.

    Reply

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