Summer is an amazing time for kids, but it can be kind of stressful for families. Figuring out daycare, activities to keep kids entertained, new routines — it can be a lot. You want the summer to be fun and to be a time of making lasting memories. Creating a garden is the perfect way to make this happen.
Whether you’re with your kids at home during the summer or not, creating a garden is a family-friendly, fun, and healthy activity that the kids’ dentists at Treasured Teeth absolutely recommend! Learn more about the benefits of building a garden, how to start one up, and how even your child’s teeth can be positively affected by this summer activity.
The Health Benefits of Gardening
We’ve mentioned in previous blogs the foods that are harmful for tooth enamel, and can lead to plaque buildup, cavities, and decay. We’ve also talked about some of the foods that teeth seem to really love. Foods such as apples, celery, broccoli, and fruit smoothies are all great for your child’s teeth (and yours, too!).
By growing some of these foods yourself, you’re teaching kids about how healthy food is grown and how it helps the body. Instead of reaching for sugary popsicles as a cold treat, you could do fresh celery stalks with some peanut butter, or fresh strawberries with a drizzle of chocolate syrup. This is much better for your child’s teeth, and sets good eating habits at an early age. You’re also saving money and a trip to the grocery store, and get fresh produce that tastes better than you can imagine.
But there’s another secret to gardening that our kids’ dentists will happily let you in on: If you have kids who are picky eaters, there’s a good chance they’ll be more likely to eat vegetables and fruits when you grow them! They’ll love watching the growing process, and will feel proud to (literally) eat the fruits of their labor!
As we always say, you don’t need to totally and completely eliminate processed sugar from your child’s diet. Everyone should be allowed a treat now and then! But gardening is a great way to make healthy eating routine, instead of a rare occurrence — and this absolutely helps your child’s teeth.
The Emotional Benefits of Gardening
Gardening teaches a lot about science, it’s true. But it’s also a lesson in patience, care, responsibility, and for young children, can even help develop fine and gross motor skills. An article in Psychology Today reports that “Time and again research reveals that gardening has a positive effect on our mental health.”
Gardening helps clear our minds with its seemingly simple, mindless tasks; it connects us to nature and other living things, and it helps us become nurturers. These are all excellent skills for a child to learn, and prove that gardening can have positive benefits on a child’s emotional health — not just their physical health.
When you garden with your young one, you’re also both benefiting from the experience in an emotional way, simply through connecting. Sharing in common interests, spending time together, being outdoors — all of these things help strengthen our connections.
As a final point (though our kids’ dentists are sure there are countless other gardening benefits out there), so many parents are concerned about too much screen time (and for good reason). Gardening is an activity that’s not only enjoyable, but it’s outside and away from the TVs and the tablets. This provides enriching opportunities for a child’s summer vacation, and it’s an activity that kids will remember for years to come.
In our next blog, we’ll continue with how you can set up your garden so that you’re fully prepped and ready for summer. Stay tuned, and make an appointment with the kids’ dentists at Treasured Teeth to help your child’s oral health be at its very best.