"Children are so impressionable; we often forget how our actions and influence can affect them for the rest of their lives. And this is no different in the case of living and eating healthy. What you eat and prepare for the family will most likely be what your children eat as adults. So if you are eating poorly and carelessly then it’s time to make some positive changes!
We really take food for granted possibly because of the way we were raised. But if you are truly dedicated to living a more sustainable and healthy lifestyle then you must start thinking and behaving differently if you want your children to outlive our generation.
When I was a child my mother always had a garden. We grew up in a rural area, so our gardens where bigger and required more work than a small space urban garden, but I never considered it work because my mom loved it so much. She had so much fun in her garden and felt such a sense of pride and accomplishment and peace in it that it had a positive impact on me and my siblings.
If gardening is something you truly want to do, then don't think of it as work or even a chore (that is always the surest way to make your kids hide from helping out!) Rather think of it as an opportunity to learn a valuable life skill because that is exactly what it is. You'd be surprised how many children don't know where food comes from, how it's grown, how much it's processed till it gets to your mouth, etc. Children who grow up not knowing the value of fresh and healthy foods and what it does for your body, grow up into adults who will continue to give little thought or care to it. I know it, I've seen it.
The best way to teach your kids the importance of growing your own healthy food is simply to do that! Grow your own garden. Depending on the size of your garden and the age of your kids, you can decide how you'll involve them, but make sure it's as fun as possible! I believe you should start them off as early as possible, around age 5 (the time of their life when they actually want to help!) :-)
An Eco Small Space Garden!
An Eco Small-Space Garden is the perfect way to start your kids off. You may want to do the initial tilling of the soil and that planting, but kids can do the maintaining of the garden such as watering, weeding, pruning, picking, etc. Teach them why they are doing these activities, teach them on growing the most nutrient rich food as possible, and when your fruits and veggies are ready, have the kids help in the kitchen to prepare them and eat them together! It will be their reward for all their help.
Besides learning about healthy growing of food, and healthy eating, you are passing on something to your kids that they will never forget. I know my mother's garden and her love for it had that impact on me. Your children will feel that you are sharing something really special with them. If you are wanting your own garden but are feeling hesitant because you never had one before, you don't have enough time, etc., try to think of it as a much needed change to your (and your children's) life. The hardest part about a garden is starting it. Once you've done that, give it some love and it will grow itself.
Working on a garden together, can be a calming and quality time for your family to spend together away from the TV. It gets the kids outside, it gets them in tune with nature, they learn something valuable, and you get to spend time with them.
The earlier you teach your kids that food doesn't come from a can on a shelf in the store, and that eating healthy organic food is as important as studying for their tests, and sports practices, the better. You are not only helping your kids to be healthier, but you are creating a new and conscious generation who will continue the tradition."
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