Home grown food can come from growing vegetables, fruits and even raising livestock. Home grown food can be cultivated in your backyard garden, front yard or even on your balcony. Home grown food is said to create a “positive food environment” for kids, but how exactly can it be beneficial to children? Here are 3 reasons why your children should eat home grown food
Home grown food allows your children to experience the benefits of fresh, “farm-to-table” produce which is way healthier than the foods available at the grocery store. These foods not only contain more vitamins, minerals and antioxidants but are also often tastier, a way to enjoy your meals even more! Produce that comes from commercial farms to grocery stores often needs to go through a long process from harvest, delivery and finally to the stores. In this long process the produce will gradually lose nutritional value, which might mean they can’t provide the right amount of nutrients that your children need.
Eating home grown food is definitely more healthy than dining out. To maximize the profitability of food stalls, food away from home contains more calories and fewer vegetables and fruits. In Malaysia, more than 64% of the population tend to eat one daily meal bought from food vendors, which is very concerning and may be a contributing factor to the lifestyle-related health issues that many Malaysians face. So, letting your children eat home grown food is better and healthier than eating food away from home.
Higher exposure to fresh vegetables and fruits
Eating home-grown food is also very beneficial to children because it increases the likelihood that they will become adventurous eaters and fruits and veggies lovers. Children that eat home-grown food have the chance of experiencing a variety of healthy and delicious food. On the other had, eating food prepared outside the home provides food and beverages that have less nutrition and limit the variety of foods available to the children. In restaurants or food stalls children’s menus are mainly narrowed down to processed food like fried chicken, nuggets, sausage, french fries etc. Eating such food in the long term will affect children’s health and also foster bad eating habits, such as becoming picky eaters.
The process of growing food at home encourages children to engage in the activity and enjoy the whole process. Children tend to develop skills quicker when they are enjoying themselves and also learn from actual experiences more effectively than simply learning about them in school. Activities such as planting, pulling weeds, cooking and mulching helps children to improve accuracy, develop muscles and even some essential life skills that will be used for the rest of their lives. Not only that, children that are involved in growing things can also develop soft skills like responsibility, love of nature, creativity and more.
- Kuzemchak, S., 2019. 3 Reasons Eating at Home Is More Nutritional for Kids. [online] Parents. Available at: <https://www.parents.com/recipes/scoop-on-food/why-eating-at-home-is-good-for-kids/> [Accessed 21 November 2021].
- TAN, C., 2014. More Malaysians eat out nowadays but are we eating enough healthy food?. [online] The Star. Available at: <https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2014/08/03/food-always-on-our-minds-more-malaysians-eat-out-nowadays-but-are-we-eating-enough-healthy-food/> [Accessed 20 November 2021].
3. Betterhealth.vic.gov.au.2014. Gardening for children – Better Health Channel. [online] Available at: <https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/gardening-for-children> [Accessed 21 November 2021].
4. The Apple Tree. n.d. The Benefits of Hands-on Learning for Children | The Apple Tree. [online] Available at <https://appletreekindergarten.com/blog/benefits-hands-learning-children/> [Accessed 21 November 2021].