Grow Your Own Kid-Friendly Kitchen Herbs
Does your child display an interest in plants and gardening? If so, this is a great opportunity to nurture that interest, and it also provides an activity you can enjoy together. However, while you may understand the ins and outs of successful gardening, a child who is just starting out doesn’t. Therefore, it’s recommended to start them off with hardy plants that are easy to grow, such as kitchen herbs. They grow rapidly, are tolerant to neglect and pests and can be purchased as pre-started plants, which makes them ideal for children. Here are some tips for growing your own kid-friendly kitchen herbs.
Accounting for Kids’ Tastes
It’s widely understood that a child’s taste buds aren’t as developed as an adult’s, so many flavors might not sit well with them. It’s important to keep this in mind when you and your child are selecting herbs to grow. Some common kitchen herbs like cilantro, nasturtium and rosemary may be too strange or intense for a child’s tastes. Those like mint, basil, oregano and lavender are generally more mild. However, if your child likes the smell of a particular herb, chances are that they’ll enjoy its flavor as well.
Make It Fun
Children like everything to be fun, and this is something you can easily incorporate into growing kitchen herbs. For instance, if you’re growing herbs in pots, why not have your child paint their own designs on them? They could even repurpose other objects for use as herb pots, such as lined baskets, unfinished ceramic or clay bowls, metal pails and even milk cartons. If you’re opting to start kitchen herb seeds indoors and transplant them outside, ask your child to find some different items that can be used as temporary biodegradable pots. Toilet paper tubes, paper egg cartons, eggshells and paper cups are all good choices. Once the seedlings are ready to go outside, you can place the pot directly into the ground. As the material breaks down, it will provide the plant with nourishment.
Lessons in Plant Care
Growing kitchen herbs is a perfect way to start familiarizing your child with basic plant care responsibilities. Indeed, these lessons in responsibility can carry over into other aspects of their daily lives, helping them become more confident and self-sufficient individuals as they grow up.
Start by teaching your child how to tell when a plant needs water. When this happens, plants tend to become drab in color and will look wilted. Let your child know that they’ll need to check on them once per day to see if they need watered. If you’re growing herbs indoors, it may be helpful to measure out an appropriate amount of water into a pitcher or glass and leave it next to the plants. Young children in particular may have a tendency to over-water, thinking they’re doing the plants a favor. If herbs are being grown outdoors, teach your child the appropriate times to water. Generally, this should only be done in the early morning or late evening.
Select Different Varieties
Kid-friendly kitchen herbs go far beyond the traditional options like peppermint and fennel. Take your child on a trip to a local plant nursery to see what varieties of herbs are available. Some especially interesting varieties that kids will love include chocolate mint, spearmint, lemon balm, orange mint and purple basil. Depending on which USDA agricultural zone you’re located in, you could even try exotic herbs like lemongrass, saffron and anise. These are easy to grow, but require longer growing seasons.
Enjoying the Results
Naturally, your child is going to want to experience the fruits of his or her labor. Fortunately, this is easy to do with a little help from you. A couple of fun ideas for recipes involving kid-friendly herbs are drinks and desserts. In the cooler seasons, a cup of hot spearmint tea is a pleasant way to warm up. In the summer, you and your child can cool off with some freshly minced chocolate mint in vanilla ice cream. Herbs like lemon balm and orange mint are great for tossing into a blender with crushed ice and fruit juice. Feel free to let them explore different ideas and flavor combinations to enhance their interest.
Kitchen herbs are the perfect way to introduce kids to the wonders and benefits of gardening and cooking. With a little gentle guidance and some room for experimentation and curiosity, you and your child can enjoy not only quality time together but also a greater appreciation for the world of herbs.
Happy Mother’s Day!
Mothers hold their children’s hands for just a little while and their hearts forever.
- Irish Proverb
Gosh, it has been forever since I was tagged in a meme blog post. Goes back to my early days of blogging actually. At that point, we did these types of things to build up our Technorati. Remember when that was a measure of our blog audience and backlinks? This time it is Sara of Sweet Silly Sara who has tagged me in this get to know you meme. So here I go, answering the same questions everyone else is answering and then tagging a few other bloggers at the end! Alright, here we go:
- Are you named after someone? No :) Not really.
- When was the last time you cried? Ummm a few days ago? It may have been over a book I was reading.
- Do you have kiddos? Yes, proud momma here :)
- If you were another person, would you be a friend of yourself? I think I would. I am earthy and nurturing. It would be good to have a friend like me who would be motherly to me when I needed it.
- Do you have a guilty pleasure? Several. Certain shows.
- Do you like your handwriting? Mostly. It is a little bubbly, drives my husband nuts. But I like it.
- What is your favorite cereal? Granola. Any type of granola. LOVE!!
- What is the first thing you notice about people? Their mouths, then their eyes.
- What is your eye color? Green.
- Scary movie or happy endings? I don’t do scary movies, in general. I like a good thriller from time to time, but no horror. I do like a good happy ending, however.
- Favorite TV show? Downton Abbey. Big Bang Theory.
- Summer or winter? Winter. Really any other time but summer. I do not care for being hot.
- Hugs or kisses? Kisses, because you can be more selective with kissing.
- What’s the furthest you’ve ever been away from home? About 2,000 miles.
- Do you have any special talents? I do.
- Where were you born? Florida.
- What are your hobbies? Reading, Spirituality, Cooking, Baking, Blogging, Social Media.
- Do you have any pets? 1 dog and 2 cats.
- Favorite movie? Hmmmm so many really….
- What the Bleep
- What Dreams May Come
- The Color Purple
- A Chorus Line
- What color is your car? White
- What do you want to be when you grow up? A better version of me :)
Now time to tag a couple of bloggers:
Money Saving Tips for New Parents
There are a lot of new things to learn and experience when you become a parent for the first time. Many of those things you will have to learn on your own without much guidance, but there are a few things that you can prepare for to make your life as a new parent a little easier.
Money is one of the most common issues that new parents struggle with. Having a baby can be expensive; many parents spend around $14,000 in the first year. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to cut back on these costs and make being a new parent a little less financially stressful. Here are some ideas to help you save money with your new baby.
Cut back on the things you will not use as much anymore
As you probably already know, your everyday lifestyle changes a lot when you have a new baby. That means that there are probably a lot of things that you are still paying for that you no longer use or need. Work with your providers to get lower prices on things like DIRECT TV, magazine subscriptions, wine club memberships or anything else that you are no longer using on a regular basis. You can enjoy big monthly savings by reducing the number of channels you get or by canceling your golf club membership that you no longer use.
Of course we all want the best for our children. Many parents think this means that they have to buy brand new, top of the line everything for their baby (these are the parents that spend over $14,000 in the first year on their baby). In reality, there are a lot of things that you get buy used that will work great for your baby.
Use old clothes from relatives and friends. Go to rummage sales to find new gear or look on online forums for good used items. Many times, you and your child will not know the difference between the used items and similar new items and you will have much more money because of it.
Avoid paying interest on anything
A great tip to save money and avoid debt no matter your situation is to avoid paying interest on anything. Many stores will offer you financing options on big ticket items like cribs and car seats, but these options also have high interest rates that will cause you to spend more on the item than you should.
Instead, try to save up for expensive items and avoid buying them until you need it or you have the money. Also, even though it is very tempting, avoid keeping a balance on your credit card. Paying extra interest will only make you lose the money you could be using for your child and bury you in credit card debt, so avoid it whenever possible and pay off credit card balances as the end of each cycle.
Make your own baby food
This is of course a little more time consuming than buying packaged baby food at the store, but you and your baby will be a lot better off in many ways if you make your own baby food instead. You will save a lot of money and you will be able to give your baby healthier, preservative and chemical free options.
If you haven’t heard, Zulily has Frozen! Yay! I don’t know about your children, but mine are nuts about Frozen right now. Frozen t-shirts, notebooks, blankets/throws, books, jewelry, bedroom decor…. You better believe I grabbed a few cute things for my girls today. They even have junior sizes. Yes, they do! I love Zulily and I love the great prices on some really cute items. Head on over to see what Frozen merchandise they have available. With prices up to 65% off, HURRY!! Cuteness doesn’t last long at Zulily!