Growing for Kids

Growing for kids is not the same as growing with kids – that’s a whole other post. Growing for kids is about growing things that your kids will eat, as opposed to growing things that your kids will like to grow. Are you following me?

In my nearly four years of experience growing for kids (which isn’t a lot so if you a have older children bare this in mind), I’ve found that they like the following:

  • Peas – green podded to begin with, then purple podded to add wow factor.
  • Mangetout – so sweet when they are picked fresh that they are like candy.
  • Carrots – small, quick growing ones that they can pull themselves. You’ll be amazed at how harvesting their own food can make them actually want to eat it!
  • Strawberries – by the bucketload.
  • Raspberries – ditto.
  • Blueberries – ditto.
  • Blackberries – ditto.
  • Apples, Peaches – not so much Pears as they can’t be eaten directly from the tree.
  • Teeny Tiny Tomatoes, or cherry Tomatoes – again it’s a pick your own thing.
  • Sweetcorn – Summer BBQ, butter dribbling down chin = happy children.
  • Pumpkins – Watching and waiting and talking about Halloween is great fun.
  • Gherkins – Small Cucumbers are a novelty and once the spikes have been washed off will be tolerated in small quantities.

Avoid things that are tough, stringy, need lots of sugar (Rhubarb) or have pips in.

You’ll notice that disappointingly there’s not much that’s green on this list. In our house, at least, there is still a moratorium on the acceptance of green things on the plate – even if they have been grown by Mummy’s own hands. I’ll try again this year but I’m not holding out much hope. At the moment I can only get them to eat Courgettes if I lie and say they are Cucumbers – and that’s not sustainable (or morally acceptable, I suppose).

So there you have it – my non-scientific list of things my children tend to eat from the garden. I’m sure there are children out there who happily munch bucketfuls of Spinach and Kale but they certainly don’t live in my house.

8 Comments on “Growing for Kids

  1. I agree on the carrots and soft fruits but the kids in our community also love tiny green (French) beans, picked straight from the plant. Haven’t tried this on any under-fives though …

  2. Cress is always a favourite green in my house. Easy to sow and quick to grow, and the only way I can get my little ones to eat anything green with a sandwich!

  3. I had the same problem with courgettes and my two girls – so I started making ‘Green Soup’ and they loved it. Eventually I told them that it was courgette soup but by then they’d developed a taste for it!

  4. Perhaps a silly question – but why can’t you eat pears directly from the tree?

  5. My five year old son would amaze onlookers as he sat down to meals saying “mmm, broccoli, my favourite!”.
    Friends & family were ‘in awe’ at my parenting skills.
    My secret? I’d told him they were ‘tiny trees’, which he loved the idea of & ate them with relish!
    Sneaky I know, but the ends justify the means!

  6. My kids are a bit older and are happy to pick handfuls of salad leaves in different colours and shapes. They also like experimenting with creating dressings to go with the leaves, which can have interesting results!

  7. My kids love spinach by the ‘bucket’ load so long as it has balsamic vinegar on it as a dressing. They eat it as a snack when they come home from school. In fact once in the fridge, you look again and its gone. My kids have done this for 2-3 years now and they are 13 and 15 at the moment. However if I cook green veg no matter how… forget it, they only want to eat it raw.

    Planted asparagus a couple of years ago so this year will be the first harvested, they have already got their recipes planned on how they want to try it.

    From an early age they ate seafood, and always loved going sea fishing. They even ate sushi.

    However they do have their own lists of….I dont like that, which consists of hard boiled eggs, cauliflower and mushrooms to name a few, but its not that both dont like, one of them will and the other wont….pretty usual I would say.

    I even tried liver and bacon this weekend (after watching superscrimpers on tv) oh yeh they scoffed that right down. Here was me thinking they wouldnt like it….

    I guess kids can just be fickle sometimes but it all changes once they grow some, then the main grip is they eat you out of house and home, greedy divils!!