You’re Never too Young to Garden

(ARA) – As people grow older, they sometimes lose sight of or interest in activities that they used to enjoy as a child. And then there are those activities that no matter how many years may pass, never lose their charm and appeal. Gardening, for example.

It’s no coincidence that gardening is one of the fastest-growing pastimes in the United States because it is one of the healthiest. It has become so common in our culture that one in four Americans now spend four or more hours per week tending their lawns, flowers and vegetables.

If the benefits of gardening include sustained health, fresh air and exercise, as we’ve been told time and time again, doesn’t it make sense to get children involved at as young an age as possible? Until recently, however, children couldn’t enjoy the full benefits of gardening because of the limited selection of gardening tools available to them. A new line of children’s gardening tools, The Budding Gardeners from Troy-Bilt, provides a full selection of colorful, high-quality children’s gardening tools sized just right for small hands.

The Budding Gardeners line contains a variety of basic gardening necessities, including a wheelbarrow, watering can, long-handled tools, hand tools and even a gardening apron. The tools feature real wood handles and steel implements so they won’t break, even in the toughest soil, allowing children to take just as much of a role in gardening as their parents.

Not only will planting the seed and getting them interested in gardening at an early age set the stage for a lifelong hobby, it pays off in the short-term as well. Researchers at Texas A&M University have found that when four-and five-year-olds spend about 30 minutes a week for eight weeks tending a garden, they are more likely to eat their vegetables – a challenge for most parents. In another study, preliminary research from Harvard University confirms that children eat significantly more fruits and vegetables after learning where food comes from and how it is prepared.

“The impact gardening has on children becomes evident in so many different facets of a child’s life,” says Dr. Susan H. Turben, a nationally recognized child development specialist. “It teaches them healthy living, healthy eating, responsibility, respect for nature – and provides a wonderful opportunity for parents and children to bond as well as grandparents and grandchildren.”

During the 1990s, the number of U.S. children participating in organized gardening programs increased dramatically as parents and teachers recognized the importance of keeping children active and eating healthy to minimize childhood obesity. Between 16 and 33 percent of children and adolescents are currently considered obese. Gardening promotes physical health and is a valuable vehicle for teaching kids about food and nutrition.

For more ideas on how to make gardening an important part of your child’s life, visit There you’ll also find a variety of games, contests and other activities that can help make gardening a year-round hobby, and you’ll have the chance to meet Buddy, the budding gardener, and his culturally diverse friends: Pat Tunia, Holly Hock, Mari Gold, along with Dirt the Dog and Mulch the Cat.

Courtesy of ARA Content