Sustainability and nutrition – Part 7

Part 7 – Sustainable with children

We are Greendish! In the ‘sustainability and nutrition’ series, we share our secrets and fun facts every month for a year at Amsterdam & Co. This month we show you how children can learn about sustainability and nutrition.

What is more fun than learning new things together with your children? Teach your children about nutrition, the environment and how to act towards the earth, by involving them in making a vegetable garden, cooking or preventing waste. In this month’s article, we give some tips about activities that you can do with your children to get them acquainted with sustainability and nutrition.

Get familiar with gardening
A vegetable garden is one of the easiest and most fun ways to teach children how nature works and to get acquainted with different types of vegetables. Do you want to start right away? You can, even in this winter period! A few pots are sufficient to start with and if that turns out as a success, you can expand. Spices such as parsley or mint do very well indoors and in March you can start sowing most vegetables. With this vegetable growing calendar you can see exactly which vegetables are planted when.

“Recycled” vegetables
Many vegetables can easily be reused and re-grown, with extra fast results. Perfect for impatient children.

  • Spring onion: Place the white part of the spring onion upright in a glass of water and place in a sunny spot. After 10 days the outing will already have grown considerably.
  • Lettuce: Cut the bottom of the crop and place it in a container with a layer of water. Change the water every few days and move to a pot with soil within a few weeks.
  • Celery: Cut the bottom of the celery and place it in a dish with lukewarm water, change every few days. Within a week small yellow leaves will appear and it can be moved to a pot with soil. Place the pot in a light spot, but not on direct sun.
  • Champignons or other mushrooms: Cut the stalk of 1 mushroom and plant it in two centimeters of wet soil. Then put the pot in a dark place and after a few weeks, you will see mushrooms coming up. Did you know that mushrooms grow extra well on coffee grounds? Mix some coffee grounds with the earth and teach your children that everything is reusable.

See the video below for more tips and tricks about using vegetable and food scraps to regrow your own produce!

Green little chefs
Children can help you a lot in the kitchen! For example, let them cut and clean ‘soft’ vegetables, such as mushrooms. You can also let them decide on which vegetables they want to cook with while in the supermarket or on the market. By involving them in the making of meals, they will more likely want to taste everything. Finally, make cooking and eating fun! Have patience if the cooking takes a bit longer than usual. Look closely at what your child likes to do. Is your child creative? Give him or her the responsibility to present the plates beautifully.

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Sustainable Greendish tips
– Do you want to start your own vegetable garden but do not know how to start? This app helps you plant the seeds and keeps track of when you need to water them (link).
– Create your own herb garden indoors! Put a jar with herbs such as basil, chives or parsley in front of a sunny (kitchen) window and give it some water. This way, you always have your own herbs available and you do not have to pick them up from the supermarket every time. Good for the environment and for the wallet!
– Teach your children about sustainability, waste and healthy food. If you are lacking inspiration on how to do so, look at this site (in Dutch) where you can find different lessons for children on these topics.