What is it about a tomato just picked from a garden that seems so good?


According to Iowa State Extension, kids are more likely to try fresh vegetables and fruits if they helped grow them. (See https://store.extension.iastate.edu.) Community gardens provide a unique opportunity for youngsters to grow fresh vegetables, eat healthy food, and share their harvest with their community. Children like quick results, and some vegetables offer that. It takes 4 weeks from seed to your plate to grow radishes, which are a good source of vitamin C and folate.


Even toddlers will learn to enjoy the harvest. For little ones at least 9 months old, cut into small pieces soft produce such as cherry tomatoes, raspberries and strawberries. Firm produce should be steamed until softened, then cut up. Try carrots, zucchini, yellow squash, cauliflower and sweet potatoes. (For more tips and recipes, see YummyToddlerFood.com.


Prepare vegetables in advance for quick snacks and meals by cutting up, patting dry, and refrigerating up to five days vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, onions, green beans and snap peas. Avoid pre-cutting produce that gets brown after slicing, like potatoes. Grab a bag of veggies instead of chips for your next snack.