Welcome back to our blog series on gardening! As we talked about in our first blog, gardening is a great way to build healthy habits. When we think of health, we think of our physical health, but rarely remember that having healthy teeth is just as important to our overall wellness.
Our pediatric dentists know that gardening is a fun summer activity, it provides fresh fruits and veggies, and it can teach kids eating habits that will help their teeth and health as a whole. Learn how to set up a garden, get started before summer begins, and contact Treasured Teeth for dental cleanings, checkups, fillings, and other pediatric dental services.
Step 1: Decide On Seeds
Your kids will love the planning stage of gardening! Figuring out what seeds to plant creates lots of opportunities for discussion on healthy eating. Have a conversation with your children on the types of vegetables (and maybe a fruit) that are healthy and that they want to try growing, then go to your local gardening store.
The thing that’s great about gardening is how inexpensive it is. Seeds usually cost less than a buck-fifty for a packet, and a bag of soil might be about $10-$20 — this is a healthy activity that keeps on giving, and costs less than going to the movies or mini-golfing over the summer. Once you pick out your seeds, read up about them with your children, and start to figure out how much space is needed.
Here are some ideas that our pediatric dentist recommends:
- Spinach and other leafy greens
- Carrots and celery
- Broccoli (a good source of vitamin D, which helps strengthen bones and teeth)
Step 2: Figure Out the Garden Space
Are you thinking of creating an in-ground garden? Do you have the space for raised beds? Are plants needing to fit onto your patio or balcony? Figuring out the garden space should be taken into consideration with your seed planning — for example, cucumbers, squash, and pumpkins are all plants that spread out quite a bit and need lots of space.
You won’t necessarily need to have your garden space completely set once you get your seeds — check the labels to see if your seeds need to be started indoors, or if they can directly go outside. As you get closer to planting the seeds outdoors, that’s when you should plan out your garden spaces. Here are some great how-tos for building raised beds and an in-ground garden. If you’re just using containers to plant some fresh produce, just follow the seed packet instructions and proceed to step three!
Step 3: Plant and Monitor
Kids will be super excited to see their hard work pay off and to watch life blossom and happen before their eyes! After several weeks, you’ll be able to start harvesting produce. You’ll have access to healthy fruits and vegetables, all of which are excellent snacks and sources of nutrition — and most of which will benefit your family’s teeth and gums.
In the summer, it can be super easy to spend too much time in front of the TV or to snack on some sugary popsicles or other cold treats. Our pediatric dentist knows that healthy habits are essential for healthy gums and teeth, and gardening is a great way to make that happen. Enjoy the season ahead, and contact Treasured Teeth to set up an appointment this summer!