One of the best ways to help children feel confident with food is to let them explore it with their senses. Touching, smelling and seeing foods can all encourage them to learn to enjoy their food before they even get to taste it. Growing their own food helps them to learn where food comes from and can help encourage them to be more adventurous with food.
Whatever the time of year, you can have fun with growing your own food. The Royal Horticultural Society offers a free welcome pack including free seeds and everything you need to get growing. Registration is free at https://schoolgardening.rhs.org.uk/about-us However, for those of you keen to get growing right now, here’s my guide to some easy fruit and veg you can grow that children will love.
Growing runner beans is an easy one to start with as they grow very fast and you can link this to the story of Jack and the Beanstalk and his magic beans. You only need some seeds, a pot and some soil to get growing or you can plant them straight in the ground.
You could grow herbs in pots or even have your own herb garden. The fragrance of fresh herbs is very enticing for children and they could add it to their own food or even cook with them. They can pick it themselves and learn about the different varieties.
One of the easiest things to grow is cress. Just sprinkle some seeds on some cotton wool or kitchen towel and place in a warm place. Keep watered and the cress will quickly grow. You can grow cress in pots, egg cartons or even old shoes. Let the children use their imaginations!
Strawberries are a really colourful fruit to grow and easy to pick. Home grown strawberries taste so much better than shop bought ones and children will love to eat them. You could plant them in old tyres, pots, hanging baskets or straight in the ground.
I hope this inspires you to get growing. They are great ways to get your children exploring their food and giving them positive food experiences that they will remember for life.