Today I'm excited to share the first in a series of posts about the Sow & Grow project (#sowandgrowUK) - a fantastic campaign by innocent (famed for their gorgeously delicious smoothies and juices) and GIY (Grow-it-Yourself) which is all about encouraging kids to grow their own vegetables, helping them better understand where their food comes from.
A recent survey carried out by innocent found that 84% of parents believe children would be more open to eating fruit and veg if they knew where their food came from, yet, one in five parents have never attempted to produce home grown food. Research shows that kids who grow their own are more likely to make healthier choices.
innocent kids overall mission is to get kids to eat healthily. They have partnered with a not-for-profit organisation called GIY (Grow It Yourself) whose mission is to encourage people to grow their own food, as they believe that food growing creates ‘food empathy’ – a deeper understanding of food, where it comes from and how it’s produced. Children who grow their own food are more likely to eat fruit and veg, show higher levels of knowledge around nutrition and are more likely to continue healthy eating habits throughout their lives. It also gets kids out in the fresh air, sticking their hands in the dirt and having fun, which can only be a good thing!
I'm absolutely delighted that innocent has asked me to get involved with the Sow & Grow project as I've seen first hand how growing even just a few vegetables at home with your kids can spark an amazing amount of excitement and enthusiasm for healthy foods, sometimes even those that they have point blank refused to try in the past! One of my new year's resolutions this year is to grow plenty of healthy edibles with my boys (moving house last year had rather put our gardening efforts on hold) so this project couldn't have come at a better time.
To help us get started, innocent sent us a brilliant growing kit full of seeds, cups to grow them in and even some compost! There was also a fantastic information pack with everything we need to know about growing the seeds, as well as plans to help teachers incorporate healthy eating in to their lessons, helping kids with everything they need to get involved. This fantastic free pack will be sent out to 6,666 primary schools across the country this year - a quarter of the UK's primary school children! I checked in with my son's school and was delighted to hear that they have already applied for and received their pack and can't wait to get growing.
We planted our own seeds this week; runner beans, baby carrots and cress. The boys were so excited about it, so I really hope they all sprout! These seeds were chosen because they are easy to grow so fingers tightly crossed. There's a star grower badge up for grabs each week for the person whose plants are growing the best so the contest is on!
Growing your own food is healthy, delicious and fun for all ages, and even the smallest food growing experiences can change the way kids think about healthy food. Why not join us and grow your own too? You don't need a lot of garden space or experience, just grab some seeds and give it a go! We'll be updating you on our progress over the next few months and hope to share some recipe inspiration for your home grown vegetables too, so be sure to pop back to see how it's going and do let us know if you're growing your own as well.
Why not ask your school if they are taking part too? Schools can sign up to get their very own growing kit full of seeds, info packs and plans to help teachers incorporate healthy eating in to their lessons, helping kids with everything they need to get involved. Best of all, it’s all absolutely free.
We've been so inspired by this project that I've started a whole new section here on the blog dedicated to Growing Food with Kids. We're planning on trying to grow lots of different edibles throughout the year and will share our efforts as we go along, so do look out for our foodie gardening projects this year!
I can't wait to see the first shoots sprouting in our sow & grow pots!
Disclosure: This blog post was commissioned by innocent in support of the Sow & Grow campaign. I was compensated for my time however all opinions expressed in this post are my own.