Chicken fingers, potato waffles and baked beans.
I don’t know about you, but when it comes to feeding the kids I rely on the top shelf of our freezer far more than I care to admit.
While there’s nothing wrong with chicken fingers, potato waffles or baked beans per se – that’s a tea of champions in my opinion – the fact is they’re all beige and give absolutely no indication from their appearance where they came from or what they’re actually made of.
Which isn’t really what I had in mind when I became a mum and had visions of whipping up freshly cooked meals made with organic meat, fish and veg from scratch.
The problem is the older BB and Little B get the more they tend to love the beige stuff and view anything else with suspicion. So how can you teach them to love the good food you started them off on when they were babies?
How to teach your child to love good food
Research shows caring for living things helps kids build empathy, and that food growing creates ‘food empathy’ – a deeper understanding of food, where it comes from and how it’s produced.
Basically, if they grow it themselves they’re more likely to eat it.
We’ve teamed up with juice and smoothie brand innocent and not-for-profit organization GIY (Grow It Yourself) for their latest campaign #sowandgrowUK, which is encouraging kids to grow their own veg to help them better understand where their food comes from.
To launch the campaign, innocent have undertaken research which has found that 84% of parents believe that their children would be more likely to try new food if they’d grown it themselves, yet one in 5 parents say they’ve never grown their own food.
I asked BB (aged five) where carrots come from and she looked at me blankly. And we have an allotment. Yet another epic parenting fail.
The #sowandgrowUK project is running from February until the end of April and is aimed at primary school kids in a bid to reinforce the idea that by growing it themselves children are more likely to eat fruit and veg and continue with healthy eating habits for the rest of their lives.
Teachers can apply for free growing kits online featuring enough seeds, growing pots, information packs and everything needed to grow carrots, runner beans and cress for a whole class.
Classes are then encouraged to upload photos of their progress on innocent’s #sowandgrowUK website for the chance to win monthly prizes and see their classroom crowned Sow and Grow champions.
We were sent one of the packs to try out at home and it immediately piqued both BB and Little B’s interest (check out BB’s mouth hanging open!)
The growing pots feature space to write your name and what it is you’re growing, and there’s a chart to record who the ‘star grower’ is each week with a badge to match (BB insisted on watering her pots first because she thinks that means they’ll grow quicker!)
My two especially loved planting the runner beans – placing the seed on the top of the soil and pushing it down with their fingers.
You don’t need much space (we live in a 4th floor flat and don’t even have a garden) or any experience (the information pack is the equivalent of an idiot’s guide) – just a sunny window sill and a bit of patience (not BB’s strong point).
Luckily the seeds in the pack are all fast growing for this very reason, and with a bit of luck the cress will start doing something within a few days.
All I have to do is make sure I can keep them alive for the duration of the project….watch this space!
Do you grow your own fruit and veg at home? Do you have any top tips?
We’re working with innocent as Sow & Grow ambassadors for the duration of the #sowandgrowUK project. As always all opinions are my own.