Children seem to have a natural affinity with herbs and can benefit greatly from their nutrients and gentle, healing properties.
One of my daughter’s earliest memories is of picking chamomile flowers in her garden when she was not quite two years old.
Like most kids, she marveled at the ‘miracle’ of watching seeds sprout and grow into flowering plants and she cherishes memories of harvesting leaves and flowers for making tea.
Both of my daughters began drinking nettle tea even before weaning. They still drink daily herbal infusions – they even use nettle tea on their oatmeal instead of milk. I feel good knowing they’re getting vitamins and minerals and lots of chlorophyll instead of sugary juices and soft drinks that wreak havoc on blood sugar levels and leech away calcium their growing bodies so greatly need.
When children start out using herbs at an early age they develop a taste for plants. They learn that plants are where most of our food comes from.I know children who won’t take a single bite of salad at the dinner table, but they will wander through a garden and ‘graze’ on all sorts of plants until they have green juice dribbling from the corners of their mouths! Kids love picking things and eating them and I suspect it feels very empowering to them to be able to roam about instinctually following their taste buds rather than being told what to eat.
Growing gardens with children is a great joy for the whole family and one of the easiest ways to introduce babes to the larger world.
Once kids are walking and talking I like to begin pointing out all the wild edible and medicinal plants that grow all around us. I think this really helps children tune into their environment and connect with their surroundings. It’s also practical. When my daughters are playing outside and someone gets stung by a bee or scrapes a knee, they will go and find some dock leaves or some plantain and have the affliction fixed up in no time. They also know which plants not to eat or touch and wouldn’t dream of eating any plant they couldn’t positively identify.
Here are some suggestions for kid’s herb gardens. These are all plants that are easy to care for and fun to use. Involve kids in the process of picking the plants and preparing them. You’llfind that eventually children will discover what herbs are best for them and will often go seeking them during times of imbalance. Many children who are exposed to herbs in this way early on will go to the garden and pick some chamomile when they have an upset stomach or ask for catnip tea when feverish.
Fun Herbs for Kids to Grow