Grow a Rainbow with Your Kids!

Grow a Rainbow with Your Kids!

Northampton Community Gardens 6

Chard in the garden. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

It’s widely known that kids need to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables. But how do you make this fun and engaging for them? “Grow a vegetable garden,” says Sarah Pounders, educational specialist at NGA. “Gardens motivate children to try new fruits and vegetables. Kids are eager to taste the fruits of their labor and quickly learn that those healthy foods are tasty, too. Eating fruits and vegetables is important for proper physical and mental development, but few children (or adults, for that matter) consume the amount recommended by current health guidelines. Gardening with your kids gets them excited about the plants on their plate and provides you with a bountiful supply of fresh produce.”

Many of the pigments responsible for the color of fruits and vegetables are also linked to different health benefits. Plants have pigments to protect them from environmental factors (such as sunlight) and from harmful byproducts of plant processes like photosynthesis. When we consume fruits and vegetables, we receive benefits from these pigments that are similar to what they do for the plant – we get protection from environmental factors and cell-damaging chemical byproducts.” Because of this, nutrition educators came up with a simple message: Eat a Rainbow. By eating a variety of fruits and vegetables in all different colors you maximize your health benefits. So this summer, grow a garden filled with red, yellow/orange, green, blue/purple, and white vegetables and have your kids eat a serving of each color every day.

April is National Garden Month. Get ready for spring with National Gardening Association.

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