How can we encourage our children to be more adventurous with vegetables while celebrating the Earth? How about growing our own salads and veggies?
But do kids like greens and salads? Yes, they do! Find out how much they like by exploring all the kid-approved lunchbox ideas on teuko.com that include greens and salads.
If you are ready to introduce more home-grown produce into your child’s meal plan, here are 7 kid-friendly vegetables and herbs to grow!
Because it is far superior, in taste and also in vitamins, to the store-bought alternative, we love planting lettuce. It is one of our favorite garden greens! You can plant lettuce in the spring, starting two weeks before frost. If you plant lettuce in the fall, you should start sowing again eight weeks before the fall frost. Then, you can harvest lettuce when full size, but just before maturity. The leaves, indeed, taste better when they’re still young and tender – and the kids will love it!
Spinach can replace lettuce in salads. We love it because it brings more iron, calcium, and vitamins than most cultivated greens, and one of the best sources of vitamins A, B, and C. Though it cannot grow in midsummer, spinach can be planted in very early spring, as well as in fall and even winter in some areas!
With their refreshing crunchiness, cucumbers are easy-care vegetables as they grow quickly as long as they receive consistent watering and warmth! Did you know that you can get cucumbers year-round? Yes, indeed, by making successive plantings (every two weeks for continued harvests, as long as you have warm soil), cucumbers will grow quickly and ripen in about six weeks!
Oh! And don’t let cucumbers get too large before you pick them, or they will taste bitter and that would not be a big win for the kiddos’ lunch!
4. Cherry Tomatoes
Now let’s ditch the greens and have touches of red in the garden and in the lunchbox! Cherry tomatoes can be planted outdoors in late spring and in early summer. The exact days to harvest has an average of 60 days, and as long as they’re not stolen by wildlife (raccoons stole all the cherry tomatoes planted by the Teuko Kids last summer!), you will enjoy the savor immensely!
Other plants very easy to grow are radishes. These root vegetables are crunchy and fresh and bring a lovely pink color to the salad! Radishes can be planted several times in spring and in fall, and they can be harvested as soon as three weeks after planting!
What about adding additional flavor to the salad? Aromatic herbs like cilantro will definitely help. Though the leaves and seeds are used most often, did you know that cilantro is entirely edible? Cilantro is a fast-growing plant that grows best in the cooler weather of spring and fall. Try it in salads and in soups.
The other aromatic herb we want to highlight and that is easy to grow is basil. Like cilantro, basil brings an extra delightful touch in salads and in soups. Pair basil with tomatoes, olive oil, and sea salt (fleur de sel is the ultimate gourmet touch), and voilà! a delicious salad the whole family will enjoy. Basil needs a warm-weather environment, with sunlight, but it can perform well in partial sun too!
Wait! What if I don’t have any outdoor space?
Don’t worry! Solutions exist to grow veggies easily at home! Here are our top 3 picks:
1. The least expensive solution is a portable mini greenhouse.
2. An hydroponic system‘s indoor garden germination kit is designed with a water circulation system, increasing the oxygen in the water. Plants are growing in the nutrient water faster than soil.
3. Named the best invention by TIME Magazine, Gardyn is like a farmers market for your home! You can enjoy up to 30 fresh vegetables, fruits, flowers, and herbs all growing at once!
Where can I get seeds to start growing my own veggies and herbs?
Our friends at Bank On Seeds, a small employee-owned and operated company that wants to help people grow their own food regardless of experience or available space, offer a Salad Pack Mini—a seed selection packed with popular salad bases and toppings. It is curated for indoor and small space growers. These plants are just as happy in a window box as they are filling out an outdoor garden bed.