Growums® teaches children and their families how to grow vegetables and herbs from seed to harvest.

Photo Credit: ©2011

This morning, my Kindergartener asked if she could have broccoli for breakfast. It was as impressive as it was weird. My husband and I have always encouraged her to eat her vegetables, of course, but hearing her ask for them at 7:23 in the morning with a side order of toast was a first.

Harvesting a bell pepper

Studies show that most kids who grow and harvest their own vegetables tend to eat them.

Photo Credit: Jenny Hooks

Duke the Cuke

As the Growums® sheriff, Duke the Cuke does his best to keep salads, sandwiches, dips and relishes in line by sharing all his healthful vitamins and minerals.

Photo Credit: ©2011

Studies show that 98 percent of children who grow their own vegetables will eat their vegetables. My daughter is clearly proof of that. Up until last year, I couldn’t get her to even try a bell pepper, let alone look in one’s general direction. Then we grew a Growums garden together, and she’s been taste-testing her way to healthy eating ever since.

Whether you’re new to the vegetable garden scene or are a homegrown-produce pro, Growums is an incredible opportunity for Mom and Dad, Grandma and Grandpa and any other adult with little sprouts in their lives to show children the fun and benefits of growing (and then eating) their own food. Even if you’ve never grown a tomato yourself, be confident that you can successfully help your child grow an entire vegetable and herb garden for your family. And Growums and Learn2Grow can help you every step of the way.

So here’s how it works: You buy a Growums Garden Kit for your future little gardener. Each kit comes with everything you and your child needs to start growing your family’s own delicious vegetables and herbs: seeds, seed-starting coco pellets, plant tags and easy directions. Before you help your child start the seeds in the kit, visit and help your little sprout register his or her garden for free. The fun-loving Growums characters will come to life in a series of animated videos that will show you and your child how to plant and properly care for your garden as it grows. They’ll also help both of you keep track of each stage of your garden’s progress, so you won’t get lost along the growing way. (Fun and friendly e-mail reminders with video links will also help keep you on the right gardening path.)

As a parent or guardian, you can share your child’s excitement as you grow your family’s real garden together outside and explore the Growums’ virtual world of gardening online. Watch the videos together, then talk about them and check up on your plants. Answer fun Growums questions online and just have fun!

Now, if you’re not sure how to answer some of your child’s personal gardening questions, have no fear: Learn2Grow is here! There are seven growing stages in the Growums gardening program. L2G will help talk you through each one from a grownup’s perspective, so you can help your child the best you can. (Stay tuned for the first stage, coming soon to a computer near you.)

I know from personal experience how much fun it is to grow a Growums garden with a child – and what the benefits beyond it are. My daughter and I truly enjoyed our growing time together, both in and outside of the garden – starting her seeds, caring for her plants and watching them grow. Then once the vegetables started to appear, Gracie couldn’t wait to start harvesting – and tasting!

Of course, that said, my daughter’s still a kid – and like most kids, she doesn’t embrace every vegetable I put on her plate. But now she at least tries whatever I give her before she turns her nose up at it. (And more often than not, she likes what she eats!) She’ll even ask about the gardens the vegetables on her plate came from, if they weren’t growing in ours. Last year was a struggle to get her to nibble on a green pepper. Today she loves them, as well as eats carrots, cucumbers and peas…and apparently now broccoli for breakfast. I think that’s a pretty good start!