Aside from playing with the neighbours and biking around the village, gardening is that one outdoor activity you should encourage your kids to do. Not only is it fun, but it also makes them healthier, physically and mentally. Here are some of the health benefits gardening has for children:
1. It encourages them to eat vegetables
Parents often struggle with kids who are picky eaters, going for chicken nuggets and sausages only and snobbing vegetables altogether. Now, you can trick your kids into eating healthy by having ‘chicken nuggets’, which in reality, have vegetable ingredients, but that strategy can only last for a while. You would have to get kids into a conscious decision of eating healthy — and gardening can help in that.
When children grow their own tomatoes and lettuce, they’re more compelled to eat them. That’s precisely because they want to eat the fruits of their labour. There’s a sense of pride there. What’s more, food grown in your own backyard tastes better than those in grocery stores, so kids will be more inclined to eat tastier veggies. Consider getting a polycarbonate greenhouse for sale so your children can take care of their plants, no matter the season or weather is.
2. It promotes physical activity
Aside from inspiring healthy eating, gardening also encourages an active lifestyle. It may be difficult to break a sweat when you’re planting, but experts say that gardening tasks, sowing, getting soil, pruning, weeding, and watering can count as moderate to high-intensity exercise. These are fun exercises that could prevent obesity, a growing epidemic among children today.
Keep your child off the couches and let their hands (and entire body) busy for gardening. Do plan which gardening tasks are appropriate for your child’s age. Sowing and getting the compost are ideal activities. Pruning and weeding might be worth reserving for yourself or your teens, as these might injure little children. Whatever they’re going to do, though, make sure to let them wear safety gear, like gloves, long-sleeved clothes, wide-brimmed hats, and rubber boots.
3. It stimulates the brain
Gardening is an activity that allows your children to have not only healthier, more active bodies, but also healthier, more active brains. It’s a mental exercise of some sorts. It lets them explore the soil, the animals in it, and the colours of the plants.
Children are able to remember their science lessons on how leaves sprout in the spring or why plants need sunlight for growth. It’s an instant application of what they learn in the classroom. Aside from new learnings, kids can further improve cognitive processes, like problem solving and memory.
When kids are gardening, they have to consider what time they last watered their plants, why the leaves are wilting, or where they should strategically place the plants. These aspects of gardening are brain exercises for your children, helping them be mentally healthier.
There are tons of health benefits your kids can get from just gardening. Start early as now in teaching your kids how to do this simple outdoor activity. Sow the seeds of a healthy lifestyle today.