Gardening Children are Healthy Children
There are considerable reasons to encourage your children to dig their hands in the garden and connect with Nature. Researchers have spent years studying the fruitful benefits gardening can have for our youngest green-living enthusiasts. Whether they are designing, planting, harvesting, or enjoying the delicious rewards of their hard work, gardening will teach your children lessons that cannot be easily duplicated in the confinement of a classroom.
In a 2009 study by the Children, Youth and Environments Center for Research and Design (University of Colorado), researchers found that gardening can have a positive influence on children’s physical, emotional, intellectual, and social well-being. Here are some of the findings from that study1:
- Gardening “grows a community!” Children who garden show heightened self-understanding, maturity, responsibility, interpersonal skills, and the ability to work well as a member of a team.
- Children who grow their own food in a garden eat more fresh produce and have less of a risk of developing obesity. Also, school gardening activities and programs usually teach lessons on nutrition, which leads to a greater understanding of healthy eating habits.
- Gardening can make a positive impact on the bond between children and their parents and other adults.
- Working in a garden cultivates academic achievement. Children who garden score “significantly higher” on science achievement tests, compared to students who have no gardening experience.
- Children who have learned how to garden have a more “pro-environmental attitude”, and often show an understanding of ecology and a social responsibility to take care of the environment.
- According to this study, as well as extensive research conducted by the American Horticultural Therapy Association2, working in a garden is not only relaxing, but it can actually promote a healthy mind. Horticultural therapy and therapeutic gardening is used in public and private schools across the country to help children with special needs.
- Gardening crosses cultural lines! Multi-cultural school garden programs show that immigrant children who garden are much more likely to feel a sense of belonging, form connections to the local community, and share their heritages than immigrant children who do not participate in gardening activities.
No matter how old your children are, you can make a big difference by enlisting them to help you in the family garden. It is never too early to teach them to stay healthy, balanced, and environmentally responsible just by growing your own fruits and vegetables.
Make sure you show your children how to keep the garden (and their own bodies) hydrated with clean, delicious Kangen Water®!
Your Enagic® water ionizing machine can help promote healthy plants and healthy hydration for everyone in your household. Learn more about the benefits of Gardening with Kangen Water® .