Sweet pea

Modern parents seem to be in a constant state of worry about how to get their kids to eat vegetables. There are entire cookbooks devoted to disguising veggies in other dishes, TV shows about kids turning their noses up at carrots, theories and strategies and sticker schemes devised by parenting experts, even children’s books written from the glum perspective of kids forced to sit at the family table for hours while their brussel sprouts grow cold (and mean). Nutritionists, sociologists (including my favourite Dina Rose), teachers and grandparents and the old lady next door all have an opinion—many of them worthwhile.

But I think the gardening folks have it right.

This morning I went out into the garden to check on my patch and discovered the sweet peas have burst from the vine and ripened. I opened up the pod and the taste of these tiny little miracles was sweet as candy, the feel in my mouth somewhere between hard and soft—the perfect sweet spot.

There’s endless research into the fact that children who grow their own food are more likely to eat new vegetables, and this morning, why that is so was abundantly clear to me. Not only is there the pride of having planted and tended the seed, watched it grow, etc., the veggies just taste better fresh from your own garden.

{Photograph by Andrea Curtis}


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