You may be wondering what in the world lettuce bowls have to do with learning, mood, and behavior challenges in children and young adults!
Gardening projects are a great way to involve family members in a meaningful activity that supports brain and body health. While many families won’t want to tackle the project of growing a large garden, smaller projects like lettuce bowls provide a manageable way to help kids learn about growing and consuming healthy foods.
Working together to grow a lettuce bowl helps children learn new skills like planting seeds or plants, caring for them, and harvesting what they’ve grown.
Projects like this allow children the opportunity to learn from the guidance of adults, and to take an active role in the process. Even children or young adults with more severe impairments can be given the responsibility for simple roles like watering the soil or helping pick the lettuce leaves. Kids can be given a level of responsibility in caring for the plants that is appropriate for their age and level of development.
Growing lettuce bowls is a simple process:
- Buy a container, soil, and either lettuce seeds or small plants. You may want to purchase multiple varieties of lettuce plants, as shown in the video.
- Pour the soil in the container and plant the seeds or plants. The bowl in the video above has about 8 lettuce plants in it.
- Water daily. Make sure the plants get at least a few hours of direct sunlight each day.
- When the lettuce starts to grow you will want to pick the mature leaves from the outsides of the plants only. This ensures that the main part of the plant stays in tact so it can continue to produce lettuce for the entire season.
- Eat and enjoy!
Even if your child is not a lettuce-lover, participating in growing foods often encourages children to try new things.
Through exposure to caring for the plants, picking the leaves, washing them off, etc. they will become more comfortable with lettuce and more willing to try it. Growing your own lettuce, as well as other foods, is a great way to encourage learning, responsibility, and healthy eating habits.
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