If you thought that gardening with your kids only has short-term benefits, we are happy to inform you that it is not entirely true. Of course, you do notice an instant improvement. Like your child spending more time outside than in front of the computer, or the fact that he or she expresses interest in helping you out in the garden. However, according to a new study coming from the University of Florida, gardening with your kids might increase the chance of them eating responsibly when they are adults. Let’s take a closer look to what the study shows us.
Well, the team at the University of Florida wanted to find out if there’s any connection between you gardening with your kids when they are little, and they growing up eating healthier than other people their age. To that purpose, the team thought they should look into one of the most reckless periods in the eating habits of a young adult. That period is, of course, college.
The study was quite straightforward, namely the team surveyed 1,351 college students. They first asked them about the amount of vegetables and fruits that they normally consume. Then, they asked them if when they were kids, they helped their parents out in the garden.
Interestingly enough, after completing the surveys, the team discovered an impressive difference between students who used to garden as children and students who didn’t. According to the study, those college students who were involved in gardening activities with their parents when they were little now consumed 15% more vegetables and fruits than their colleagues who hadn’t.
What is even more interesting is that the study also made a distinction between students who actively took part in the gardening process as a child, and students who merely grew up in a family where the other members used to tend to the garden a lot. Unfortunately, the results show that the latter category did not consume a healthier diet than those students who had no contact with gardening whatsoever.
The first lesson you should learn from this study is that attitudes and behaviors that we help our children shape when they are little influence their life when they grow up. That is why you should be very careful what you teach your kids. Secondly, according to the study, the best way to make sure your children will have healthy eating habits when they are young adults is to nurture their interest in gardening at a young age. Be careful though, this does not mean simply allowing them to watch you work. On the contrary, encourage them to actively participate and teach them about the benefits of a healthy diet.
We though this interesting study might help you understand why gardening with your kids is not only great for their present growth and development, but also for those times when they will go to college and you won’t be around to cook for them anymore.
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