Kids have appetite for homegrown fruits and veggies

By Carrie Johnson Weimar • Published: July 19th, 2007
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

If you’re the parent of a picky eater, you know how tough it is to make kids eat their veggies. But there’s a solution waiting for you right in your own backyard.

A new study by researchers at Saint Louis University found children were more likely to eat fruits and vegetables if the produce was homegrown. In fact, after talking to more than sixteen-hundred parents of preschool-aged children who live in rural southeast Missouri, they found that kids who were almost always served fresh-from-the-garden fruits and vegetables were more than twice as likely to eat five servings a day than those who rarely… or never… ate homegrown produce.

The study also found these children prefer the taste of fruits and vegetables to other foods, the parents told researchers. They were also more likely to eat a greater variety of fruits and vegetables.

According to the U-S-D-A’s food pyramid, children ages four to eight should eat about a cup and a half of both fruit and vegetables every day.

Unsure how to plant a vegetable garden? Experts say you should pick a spot that gets as much sun as possible. Easy-to-grow crops include onions, peas, beets, peppers, tomatoes and zucchini squash.

Even if you don’t have a backyard, you can still have a garden of your own. Most vegetables will grow in pots as long as you have a large container and a sunny spot to place it. Looking for more information? Consult your local extension service.