Create a summer salad garden with kids
We all know that getting kids to eat their fruit and vegetables can be tough so here's an idea to get your kids to love vegetables whether they're in a garden bed or on the table.
There is a huge push to curb the growing childhood obesity rates in Australia. A key to this might be education and involvement in the gardening and cooking process.
Learn by doing
Get your kids interested in what they eat by growing a herb and vegetable garden with them. They can be involved in deciding what to plant, tending to the growing vegetables, harvesting them and then cooking them for a family dinner. Not only will this have them eating healthily but they will have a sense of accomplishment.
A well-known success story that has captured this "garden to table" theory is the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen and Garden Foundation, which partners with primary schools across Australia. They develop a local program that teaches kids skills in health, gardening and cooking.
Namesake and much-loved Australian celebrity chef, Stephanie Alexander, says her program is about the experiences.
"I believe that education has to be education for life. The children in the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program learn how to grow, harvest, prepare and share delicious and wholesome food — experiences that will influence and inform the rest of their lives," she said.
What to plant
When considering what to plant at home with your children, you might want to consider:
- Herbs and vegetables that are easy to grow and can be maintained in a small space (so it doesn't matter if you're using a garden bed or a box on a balcony)
- Recipes that are easy to follow so that the kids can do it or at least help you, such as a a no-fuss vegetable salad
So, with both those points in mind you might like to consider the following vegetables that can create great summer salads:
- Spring onion
- Cherry or grape tomatoes
- Snow peas
All of these vegetables can flourish in moderate temperatures across Australia and don't require too much attention or special treatments.
By using the above ingredients and maybe growing some herbs like chives and parsley you can create the following salad combinations:
- Italian vibe: rocket, tomato, zucchini with some parsley, olive oil and balsamic vinegar
- Greek taste: lettuce, tomato, cucumber with some red onion, fetta cheese and a vinaigrette
- The classic: lettuce, tomato, carrot, snow peas and cucumber with your favourite dressing
- Coleslaw: cabbage, spring onion and carrot with a mayo dressing