Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) April 14, 2010
In honor of Earth Day, SuperKids Nutrition is challenging families to grow their own healthy groceries! With the mission to “save the world, one healthy food at a time,” SuperKids Nutrition, together with Joe Lamp’l, author, television gardening host and founder of joegardener.com, is offering advice on how families can grow healthy vegetables in backyard gardens. From squash and cucumbers to lettuce and tomatoes, the process of planting and growing healthy foods is a great way to teach kids about nutrition and gardening.
“The key to teaching kids about healthful eating is through fun, hands-on educational opportunities,” said Melissa Halas-Liang, SuperKids Nutrition founder. “Taking the steps to grow healthy foods is a great way to encourage kids to eat what they grow.”
This month, the organization’s website – http://www.superkidsnutrition.com– offers gardening advice for families, tips on the most nutritious and easiest vegetables to grow in backyard gardens and fun garden and nutrition-related activities for kids. The site also features an interview with expert gardener, Joe Lamp’l that offers the following tips together with SuperKids Nutrition for first-time family gardeners:
- Start From Seeds: Make it easy by starting with seeds so kids can see them grow. They'll be amazed. It's easy to engage them when they can take ownership. You can start with a little plot of land or a few pots. But, get them involved early in the process. Lamp’l suggests planting seeds in a small yogurt cup with holes for drainage and housing indoors by a window.
- Yummy Yields: According to Halas-Liang, hands-on gardening is a great way to encourage picky eaters to become more adventurous when trying new nutritious foods. She suggests planting vegetables that appeal to kids’ palettes as well as have a quick yield – great for shorter attention spans!
- Lettuce and spinach grow quickly and are sure to please young palettes. You can eat them within 2-4 weeks of 'germination' if you want to enjoy them as micro greens.
- Squash also grows fast! There are many types of squash, from zucchini, to crookneck or yellow or green summer squash.
- Lemon or round cucumbers are also delicious and a hit with kids. Some kids actually ate these over sweets last summer. There are great varieties of cucumbers that kids will like, such as lemon and green fingers. They are easy to grow too.
- Radishes are the fastest growing edibles in the garden from seed to full maturity at around 29 days. Don't forget they come in a variety of colors – yellow, red, purple and white. Children may like a vegetable you don't prefer, so encourage them to try a variety.
- Lessons from the Earth: Gardening will not only offer the opportunity to teach kids about growing healthy vegetables, it can also teach other valuable lessons according to Lamp’l:
- Math: Let kids take a hands-on approach and learn about measuring the spacing required between plants, countdown to the days to sprout, days to harvest, etc.
- Science: Kids will learn about the structure of a plant and how proper care and nutrition help grow a healthy plant – (just like a healthy body!)
- Art: There is nothing more beautiful than the art of nature. Gardening can help kids discover the artistic beauty of nature.
Super Crew® Makes Healthy Eating Fun for Kids
SuperKids Nutrition also offers a series of books featuring the Super Crew® to further teach kids about earth-friendly nutrition. Havoc at Hillside Market takes place at a Farmer’s Market and promotes locally-grown foods and in Super Baby Abigail’s Lunch Time Adventure, the Super Crew® grows their own garden to have the freshest tasting ingredients for their super-sandwich. Both books feature the Super Crew® characters, superhero kids who get powers from eating healthy foods of certain colors. In addition to the stories, each book provides parents with ideas on how to interest children about healthy nutrition and trying new foods. Books are available at superkidsnutrition.com.
About SuperKids Nutrition
SuperKids Nutrition Inc., was founded in August 2006 by Melissa Halas-Liang, MA, RD, CDE, to save the world one healthy food at a time. The SuperKids Nutrition team also represents a diverse, nationally recognized group of Registered Dietitians and nutrition professionals who specialize in childhood, school and family nutrition. SuperKids Nutrition is recognized and listed by the USDA and state board educational sites as a credible nutrition education resource providing nutrition content, parent Q and A and resources on school websites across 16 states. The SuperKids Nutrition website, books and other educational resources are available to parents, teachers, and healthcare professionals looking for tools and information on eating healthfully and raising a healthy family. To learn more, visit http://www.superkidsnutrition.com.