Garden Snack Foods: Tips On Creating Snack Gardens For Kids

snack garden
snack garden
(Image credit: romrodinka)

You want your little ones to know where food comes from and how much work it takes to grow, and it wouldn’t hurt if they would eat those veggies! Creating snack gardens for kids is the perfect way to instill that appreciation into your kids, and I guarantee they will eat it! Read on to find out how to create a children’s snack garden.

How to Create a Children’s Snack Garden

When I was little, you couldn’t get me to eat a tomato – never, no way, yuck! That is until my grandfather, an avid gardener as well as a frequent babysitter, got me out into his garden. Suddenly, cherry tomatoes were a revelation. Many kids completely change their minds about veggies when they are the ones participating in the gardening and harvesting. To get them interested, choose an area of the garden just for them. It doesn’t have to be a large area; in fact, even some window boxes will do the trick. The key to enticing them is to plant garden snack foods. That is, crops that can be seen growing and can then be plucked and eaten immediately after harvest. It might be called a snack garden or, more appropriately, a pick and eat garden for kids.

Snack Garden Plants

What kind of snack garden plants work well for children? Garden snack foods such as carrots and cherry, grape, or pear tomatoes are obvious choices to grow in a pick and eat garden for kids. When you’re creating a snack garden for kids, you don’t want to go too exotic and you want to capture their interest. Radishes and lettuces are rapid growers and come to fruition quickly enough that the young harvesters won’t get bored and lose interest. Kale also grows quickly and while the kids might not take to it as is, they usually love kale chips. Berries of all sorts are kid crowd pleasers, no doubt because they are sweet. The added bonus is that berries are generally perennials, so you will enjoy the fruits of your labor for years to come. Cucumbers are also a good choice for garden snack foods. They come in smaller sizes that, again, grow quite rapidly and are usually prolific. Sugar snap peas are another crowd pleaser. Dare I say again, due to their sweet flavor. Beans are fun to grow and pick with children. Plus, a bean teepee support makes a great secret hideout for little ones. Beans also come in pretty colors, such as purple or scarlet striped. Speaking of pretty colors, you might also include some edible flowers amongst your snack garden plants. I suggest this with the caveat that the children are old enough to understand that not every flower is edible. Select only edible flowers such as:

Incorporating these blossoms into the pick and eat garden for kids will add a splash of color as well as attract butterflies and bees, another opportunity to teach them about the importance of pollination.

Amy Grant

Amy Grant has been gardening for 30 years and writing for 15. A professional chef and caterer, Amy's area of expertise is culinary gardening.