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Keeping The Kids Busy During A Pandemic

Fun ideas for the entire family
Credit: GD

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Dietitian Grace Derocha from Blue Cross joined My West Michigan with some fun ideas on keeping the entire family busy while stuck at home. 

Gardening is a recreational activity that doesn’t require new or expensive supplies to start. Common household items can be recycled and used to bring a variety of plants to life.

 Homemade Compost

  • Composting is a great way to enrich and fertilize soil without the addition of chemicals.
  • It’s a mixture of decomposed organic material that can be found in or outside the home.
  • Typical ingredients include: 
  • Coffee grounds
  • Dry leaves
  • Eggshells
  • Fruit and vegetable scraps
  • Grass clippings
  • Shredded newspaper
  • Twigs

 Avoid the following: 

  • Citrus or onion peels
  • Dairy products
  • Dog or cat waste
  • Meat
  • Oil
  • Sawdust from treated wood
  • Seeds from produce

Homemade Pots and Cloches

  • For pots, look to egg cartons, plastic veggie trays and paper cups.
  • For cloches—plastic or glass coverings—use large water bottles, milk jugs or water coolers.

 How to Save and Recycle Seeds

  • Start with non-hybrid vegetable seeds from tomatoes, bell peppers and cucumbers.
  • Remove seeds from vegetables that are ripe or from seed pods that are dry and cracked.
  • Seeds must be washed and air-dried (for days or weeks depending on type), while others may need to soak for an extended period.
  • Dry beans or peas can be planted immediately.

 The Health Benefits of Gardening

  • Exercise:
  • Adults need to be active for at least 30 minutes a day and children for 60 minutes.
  • Gardening is a creative way to meet both requirements.
  • It’s also a known stress reliever that can be a positive and constructive outlet.
  • Healthier/Affordable Food Options:
  • People who grow food are more likely to eat their own produce instead of buying from a store.
  • This can help to control costs and stay within budget.
  • Less Pesticides and Fertilizers:
  • Even though they target insects, fungi and weeds, certain pesticides can be harmful to the body.