My heart sings when I see this precious child mesmerized by his book. He holds it gingerly between his fingers as he looks intently at the Vegetable Kids and garden vegetables. His Mom knows the value of reading to her child and sharing stories of health and love.
Sometimes the best books are the ones a parent hands to a child as a break from the board books and stories from popular movies. Young children can point to vegetables and hear about how they were created. As they get older they enjoy hearing how garden worms provide nutrients to the soil. Kids love to imagine the mysterious things that might be in the dirt. When a mother reads to her child, she is sharing precious loving moments that last forever. Enjoy colorful vegetables for lunch then have fun reading Vegetable Kids in the Garden together.
Enjoy quality time with your child reading, Vegetable Kids in the Garden. Hardcover, softcover, and ebook available at BarnesandNoble.com; Softcover and eBook available at Amazon.com. Amazon will order the hardcover book even though they say it is "Out of stock."
Care » Patience » Responsibility
The seed section is one of my favorite areas in my local home improvement store. Sealed in dainty packets, the gorgeous pictures represent the promise of what the seeds can become given patience and the right conditions. Whether it’s a juicy beef steak tomato or a brilliant bunch of sunflowers, as a consumer you desire creating what the picture represents.
One day my six-year old son accompanied me to the home improvement store. As the apple does not fall from the tree, he, too, shares my same love of seed packets. During our visit, he selected a lovely strawberry seed packet and on the drive home excitedly told me about the strawberries that he planned to grow. Armed with his small red shovel and seed packet, he planted the seeds and went into the house.
A week later, remembering his strawberries, he returned to the patch in our backyard, frowned, and sadly asked,
“Where are my strawberries?”
In reviewing the essentials of gardening that we had discussed in the car, I inquired whether he had watered the seeds. Unfortunately, this step was overlooked and the seeds were not able to absorb the hydration that they needed to sprout.
Gardening with kids is a fantastic opportunity to teach them numerous lessons. First and foremost, about healthy food grown with love and care. However, as listed below, it’s often the intangible lessons like care, patience and responsibility that kids benefit most from.
Lesson #1: Care
As my six-year old son learned, his strawberries didn’t survive due to lack of water. When kids garden and have expectations that their beloved seeds will flourish, they need to remember to demonstrate care and attention to their seeds. Watering and planting seeds in good soil with appropriate sun exposure are ways that young gardeners can show TLC to their fragile seeds.
Lesson #2: Patience
The growth of fruits and vegetables cannot be rushed. Once everything has been planted, the only option available is to wait. Patience can be hard for everyone, regardless of age. Gardening teaches young people how to be comfortable with waiting.
Lesson #3: Responsibility
The tools of a trade are essential components to the success of a project. Gardening gloves, shovels, rakes, dowels, etc. are all part of a gardener’s tool box. Young gardeners learn responsibility when they take good care of their tools and return them to their proper place for use with future projects.
Gardening with kids is a magical experience! Digging together in the dirt and watching the amazing fruits of labor flourish.
Juliana Parker is a proud mom of 3 boys, wife, and Certified Career Counselor. In her free time she loves spending time outdoors with her family.
It was so much fun to have my 8-year old grandson overnight. We did a little shopping at the neighborhood Grocery Outlet where he saw a kit for making slime. He said he loves slime. I had no idea there was a slime craze. I bought the slime making kit and we went to work when we got home. You could add the desired amount of sand and green color. I told him it was an experiment and he could add what he wanted and see what happens. The green goo was more of a gob, we bounced it a little, rolled it around, and just had a good time making it. He said he had made slime previously with borax. I decided to look up ways of making slime and found this fun website.
There are many recipes for slime. You might already have the ingredients for at least one of them. I would like to try some and see what a difference the varied ingredients make. I wonder if I could add vegetable coloring. Carrot juice might be interesting. It will be an experiment to create slime, goo, gobs, or whatever comes together. It’s a fun inexpensive way to spend time with your kids.
This website has recipes, videos, and a PDF download for slime using different ingredients. It’s all about slime.
Send me an email, firstname.lastname@example.org, and I'll send you a pdf of a reproducible Vegetables Coloring Page for kids, classes, and homeschool.
I held the five pound bag of rainbow carrots, in my hand knowing we couldn’t possibly eat that many carrots, but rainbow carrots are fun, and it was quite a good deal. I couldn’t resist. When I got them home, I looked at the big bag of carrots, and shrugged. What was I thinking. Then I had a great idea. I used my food processor to grind up the carrots one color at a time and bagged them up by color.
Then yesterday I was looking for a quick lunch and happened upon a can of chicken in the cabinet. I got out the mayonnaise and the hot dog relish I like and wondered what vegetables would brighten the chicken salad. I had three different colors of carrots in the freezer to choose from. Hmm. Orange would look best with the yellow bell peppers, and baby kale. Any combination of colors would do, but I like some green with some lighter colors.
Why all the colors you may wonder? The habit of adding a variety of natural colors to each meal is pleasing to the eye, inviting to the palate, and provides a variety of nutritional benefits. Look at the list of vegetables on the vegetable cards, and check to see how many colors you have in your frig. Do you need to add more fresh vegetable colors? They are delicious fast food that you can eat raw or add to any meal.
Have a Delicious Colorful Stir-Fry Scrambled Eggs & Vegetables Breakfast to Help Meet Your Vegetable Goals
Create a delicious mouth watering colorful Breakfast Stir-Fry. See recipe link for instructions or just sautee colorful bell pepper, onion (purple for added color) and kale, add cooked sausage and cooked rice (mix in soy, teriyaki or stir fry seasoning) to soft cooked scrambled eggs, top with your favorite cheese and have a simple colorful breakfast. Slivered almonds optional. To simplify, I cook sausage, drain it, then add vegetables.
Breakfast Stir-Fry Recipe
In case you hadn't noticed, it's National Carrot Month. Have you had your carrots today? We all know that carrots are rich in Beta carotene, which is a powerful antioxidant that helps fight disease. And,
Carrots are crunchy, delicious, and so versatile you can find a way to love carrots even if you don't taste them. I put carrot juice in frosting, macncheese, and my favorite, spaghetti sauce. Enjoy carrots raw, cooked, or blended. They are fun sliced, diced, or decorated. In fact, each color of carrot has a slightly different nutrition. I imagine we all need to eat more carrots. So make it a carrot month.
Join the Vegetable Kids in eating carrots. Watch the video and see how you can stand firm like a carrot.
What is your favorite way of eating carrots?
This year, for the first time, I used carrot and beet juice to decorate Christmas cookies. It took extra effort but it felt good to try something natural. I was very glad to have the help of a friend for the children’s decorating. Was it worth it?
I read a recipe that said to cook the beets, and then strain them through cheesecloth. That sounded like too much trouble, so I donned thin plastic gloves, peeled and washed a half beet, cut it in half and blended well with just enough water. Then I used a regular metal strainer to eliminate small clumps, while making sure the counter and my clothes stayed free of the beet juice stain.
I creamed a little shortening with two cups of powdered sugar and enough beet juice to give the frosting a good consistency. Then I filled a frosting-decorating bulb with the purplish red frosting. The bulb made dispensing the bright frosting very neat, but was a little hard for small hands to push out when it was thick enough for the decorating tip to dispense the bright ribbed confection.
All three children liked the taste of the frosting. In fact, many reminders were needed to not stick the knife back in the frosting bowl after licking it. After decorating the frosting with red and green sprinkles, M&M’s and various little candies, I looked at the cookies and realized I had definitely NOT avoided the artificial coloring. When I looked back at the picture of the natural frosted cupcakes, they didn’t include the unnatural colored sprinkles.
Hmm. I do like to have cookie-decorating parties. What can I do? The first step was the natural frosting this year. Maybe next year I will use natural decorations like craisins, shaped natural cereals, etc. Turns out with all the color in the frosting, they didn’t really need the sprinkles that rolled all over the table and floor.
Was it worth it? In and of itself, maybe not. They didn’t get a lot of carrots and beets from the frosting, but it was my first step to healthier decorating. The carrot frosting looks great on gingerbread cookies and the beet frosting would add color to sugar cookies. As you can see from the picture, we weren’t in it for looks––just fun and frosting!
Then, after my 4-year-old granddaughter helped me make her favorite Macncheese, she asked if I could cut carrots into small pieces so she could mix it into her macaroni. Wow! She hadn’t said that before. I don’t know if she learned it somewhere else or if having all the vegetables around inspired her to have carrot macncheese. All in all a fun time was had by all.
It’s fun to munch on cool crisp fresh fruit and vegetables. They are fast food that come wrapped in their own healthy skin. You may like to bite into a sweet red apple, or peel a yellow banana to taste the smooth flavor of the tropical fruit. My grandson likes to take a baggy of fresh spinach to school for his lunch, and I have a granddaughter who likes to dip her carrots in applesauce. Ok, those ideas may not entice your palate, but I have some ideas that might just make you want to dash to the refrigerator for a deliciously nutritious snack.
Fresh fruit and vegetables are fast food for lunches when you add some protein and they make a lively snack to wake up your mouth in the afternoon.
Dips for Fruit:
peanut butter, almond butter, nutella, caramel nutella mixed, greek yogurt, salted caramel yogurt, (My mother loved to mix fruit with her cottage cheese).
Dips for Veggies:
Hummus, plain greek yogurt (for extra flavor add herbs or seasoning), cottage cheese (also good with fresh vegetables mixed in), Sunbutter
When you see the colorful fruit and vegetables while fixing your kids lunch or snack, you will want to grab a snack for yourself to take to work. Make sure your fruit bowl and refrigerator contain a variety of colorful fruit and vegetables for fast food lunches and snacks.
What’s in your refrigerator for fast snacking?
"Pumpkins are so much more than just a fun holiday decoration. Not only are they one of the best-known sources of beta-carotene (an antioxidant that is converted to vitamin A in the body), but pumpkins are loaded with fiber, potassium, and vitamin C. On October 26 do yourself a favor and eat a hearty helping of pumpkin to celebrate National Pumpkin Day (and of course have a little fun carving them)." https://nationaltoday.com/us/national-pumpkin-day/
We think of pumpkin pies and pumpkin lattes (not really pumpkin) this time of year. The sweet aroma of pumpkin spice with the richness of cinnamon wafts through the kitchen. I think of pumpkins in dessert and faces, but Pumpkin is so much more than a flavor, it's a nutritious vegetable. Pumpkin soup, baked pumpkin, and pumpkin seeds are all wonderful treats. How do you like your pumpkin? It's not just for Pumpkin Day!
Health and Prosperity Monthly Newsletter
Nancy J. Miller, M.S. is a Career Counselor, Coach, speaker, and writer.