Welcome to The Foodies Blog, a mix of real children's recipes, opinions, reviews and campaigns.
We've put all the blog posts into categories to make them easier to find. Please leave a comment on anything which interests you.
If you'd like to be told about future blog posts, please use the sign up box below.
CategoriesBook And Other Product Reviews (8)Cooking (1)Eating (3)Family Recipe Testing (12)General and Intro (2)Growing (5)Interviews (4)News, Events & Campaigns (8)
Most Recent EntriesPeppermint CreamsSave With Jamie - Win A Free Copy Our ten favourite fun looking snack ideasEasy Berry Ice CreamA Bit Of A Rant On A Slight Segway
Gardening With Children - Choosing Your Crops
Gardening With Children - Choosing Your Crops
Just recently I had the privilege of listening to a group of school children give their thoughts on what was needed for carrot seed to grow into carrots; whilst every answer given was correct in its own way, by far the best was from one young lad who said, “sun, sun and love”.
Gardening with children is rewarding on so many levels. Start with easy growing projects to ignite their interest, here are some suggestions for good starter crops.
Five Easy Grow Vegetables For Kids
Grows quick enough to satisfy the most impatient of youngsters! Draw a face on a used boiled egg shell filled with damp cotton wool and sow - in no time at all a cress head. On the same principal, an old egg box chopped into sections and glued together can become a cress caterpillar.
Every child knows the story of Jack and the Bean Stalk – say no more! Climbing French beans can grow impressively fast up canes, an obelisk or similar and can be picked and eaten on the plot. Runner beans can also be used but make sure they're picked young – otherwise tough and stringy beans may put a child off forever.
The seed is small enough to start teaching more precise sowing techniques but still large enough for small hands to manage. Growing fairly quickly they will satisfy any impatience and later are a great vegetable for teaching thinning. I have yet to find a child who doesn't like beetroot chips (oven roasted). Most children also find the ‘after effects' of eating beetroot of great interest too (and something to warn Mums and Dads of if you have served it to their siblings)!
Once they get cropping, the sheer number of fruits produced and speed at which they grow is always a fascination to children – the Triffid of the vegetable world. Consider a round or yellow fruiting variety (or both) for added interest. Can be one of the harder vegetables to get children to try – but is easy to hide in soups, rice and pasta dishes.
Something they can grow for their school lunch box. Easier than conventional sweetcorn as they can be started later (avoiding low temperature concerns) and do not need to be grown in blocks – as they do not need to be pollinated. A huge plant from a tiny seed always impresses, and few children can resist Babycorn!
Crops To Pick & Eat On The Plot
The sweetness and flavour of peas picked, shucked and eaten raw on the veg garden cannot be beaten, and one kids (or adults) never seem to tire of. It's a good idea to pick with your child the first few times to make sure they only pick the swollen ripe pods – and just as anywhere else on the garden, make sure any canes or supports are topped with suitable eye protection.
Few raspberries on our own plot actually make it to the dining table as they are our daughters' favourite. Once again make sure they know the difference between ripe and not - so as to avoid wastage. ‘All Gold' seems to be very popular with children – perhaps because of the colour, perhaps because of there crumbly texture.
Apart from the obvious ‘baked', lots of kids just wont eat beans; by encouraging picking and eating on the plot that may just change. French beans and runner beans are the obvious but broad beans can also be shucked and eaten raw. Move on to using them in raw in salads before serving them up cooked.
You might also like…
Garden Crafts For Children by Dawn Isaac I hope you won't mind me mentioning Chr***mas when it's still only November, but I have a great recommendation for a stocking filler for a child in your life. I'm not on some kind of commission or something(!) I just genuinely think it is a lovely book. Garden Crafts For Children is a fab book by Dawn Isaac, who is a garden designer and writer of the lovely kids gardening blog Little Green Fingers....
The Importance of Breakfast Interview with Katie Adolphus, researcher on breakfasts for kids. Everyone knows that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, right? But what should you feed your children for breakfast? Does it really make a difference to the way they behave at school? How much do we actually know about our children's first meal of the day? We asked Katie Adolphus, a PhD research student at the Human Appetite Research Unit (HARU). S...
Grow Your Own Vegetables by Joy Larkcom It's that time of year when you can't get an awful lot done in the cold, wet muddy garden, and even if you could, your heart is longing for a warm fire, thick socks and hot chocolate. But you can keep yourself happy by planning the year ahead. Flicking through seed catalogues (what my other half refers to as garden porn...) and cooing over all the things you'd love to grow is an essential part of the veg growers year. It's eas...
Katie's Krops - A Truly Inspirational Child If you have moments where you think getting kids to eat, grow and cook is a mountain too high, you need a bit of inspiration, to know it is possible. Well it doesn't get much more inspiring than this. When Katie was 9 years old she brought a tiny cabbage seedling home from school and planted it in her backyard. It grew and grew until it weighed 40lbs, and Katie donated it to a local soup kitchen where it fed 275 hungry people. Katie was hoo...