Teaching kids to garden gets them curious about nature and nutrition.

“Gardening is a safe, creative and hands-on way for kids to learn,” says Gary Wangler, HTR, horticulturist and manager of grounds operations and horticultural therapy at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. “They can use all of their senses.”

Before heading outside with mulch and a watering can, plan some fun fruits and vegetables to grow.

“Pick fruits and vegetables your kids will enjoy eating, like strawberries,” says Chef Ross Lough, executive chef at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. “My 4-year-old son would enjoy checking in on our strawberry plant and seeing how big each strawberry would get.”

Another option is to plant “fun-sized” vegetables that make good snacks, such as snap peas or cherry tomatoes.

If in doubt, remember that kids love pizza. Grow toppings, such as basil, oregano, peppers and tomatoes, and kids will be excited to watch their “pizza garden” grow.

Kids can enjoy their efforts at the end of the growing season, Wangler says.


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