Creating a family garden is the best way to get the whole family engaged in growing the food that you will enjoy together later. Even small babies can be a part of the gardening process and getting babies involved early will help them to understand where food comes from and how to enjoy fruits and veggies as they grow.
Create your garden with loved ones. A family garden often includes parents and children, but could also include grandparents, siblings or even close friends. Creating a garden together will let your baby know who is invested in the family and will create memories with the people who love her.
Include Baby. Make sure your baby has a space in the garden. If your baby is still very small, simply allow him to play on a blanket in the yard while he takes in the smells and sounds. As your baby gets older, you may set up a corner of the garden specifically for him. Give him a little shovel and rake and let him imitate you. If you have a toddler, you can let him plant his own seeds and watch them grow.
Choose baby friendly plants. Babies love fragrant flowers, bright colors and plants that attract butterflies. You may even want to include bird feeders and a bird bath to really get your baby's interest. Since your family will also be eating foods from the garden, you may want to consider planting things baby will like, such as blueberries, strawberries and maybe even cherry tomatoes. If she is excited about the garden, she will most likely be excited about eating the foods it produces.
Spend time in the garden. Even after the plants have started to grow spend time with your baby in the garden. Enjoy what you have created. Read her favorite book outside on a blanket, watch the birds together, enjoy a family meal by the garden and teach her how to water the plants. If she is still too small to help, the garden is a great place for tummy time. Stretch out a blanket and enjoy the fresh air.
Make the garden yours. It is always fun to create elements in your garden that are unique to your family. If your little one is starting to learn words and objects you can get fruit and veggie flash cards to place in the garden labeling the food you are growing. Make sure that you laminate the cards so that they withstand the rain. This will give your baby a better connection with the plants that are beginning to grow. You can also make a family sign. "The Miller's Family Garden". or "Made With Love by the Smith Family". Another cute idea is to make stepping stones with your baby's footprints on them. Creating memorable elements for your garden will help your baby take pride in the space and make a deeper connection with the garden and with the family.
Photograph. Remember to take lots of pictures throughout the entire process of creating your garden. Keep an album or scrapbook of the garden memories. This will remind your child later on of the fun he had in the garden and will hopefully inspire him to continue loving nature well into his adult life. Plus, it will give your family many cherished memories.