My favorite activity to do with my kids is garden with them. I think kids learn a real appreciation of food when they see it growing in the garden. The best way to let kids really be involved is to let them have a container(s) (horse trough, wine barrel, large pot) and let them choose what they want to grow. I have listed here my top 5 plants to grow with kids. Not only are these easy but most of them, kids can just grab off of the plant and eat. I know my kids are constantly grabbing things from my garden and I love that they end up eating way more fruits and vegetables because of it.
Sugar Snap Peas
Snap peas are by far one of my kids' favorite plants that grows in the garden. Watching the plant entwine itself up a lattice is so fun to see and the flowers are these plants are so delicate and beautiful. When the snap pea is ready, it is go time in our family since all my kids try to harvest them. They have just the right amount of crunch and are so tasty that they are easy to want to pop lots of these in your mouth and enjoy while playing in the garden. We personally like to add purple and green ones together because they compliment each other so well. Oftentimes you can get these as seedlings but these are also easy to grow from seed. The best part is that you can get multiple harvests out of one plant.
Cherry tomatoes are tried and true. They are easy to find at the nursery as starters and as they grow, the cherry tomatoes are easy to pluck off of the plants and pop into ones mount. My favorite varieties are Supersweet 100 and Sungold. Both of these are sweet and very prolific meaning you will have lots to eat.
Easy to grow and tasty to eat, who doesn't love a good strawberry especially one as sweet as those homegrown. Strawberries are low growing so their strawberries will be either hidden among the leaves or spilling over the side. Kids will enjoy waiting until the strawberries are red before harvesting them. They can stake out their claim on which strawberry is theirs. :) Strawberries are great to get in 6 packs and you can bunch them pretty close together in a container so that you can have tons of sweet tasting treats in no time.
Carrots are hidden gems. These are best started from seeds. The seeds of which are quite small so just sprinkle some on the soil and see what pops up. Most likely you will get way more than you thought you would. :) There are so many different kinds of carrots to get but my favorites include the multi colored ones because you will get purple, red, orange and yellow ones all in the same mix. It makes for a fun surprise. I must say that you haven't really ever tasted a carrot until you eaten a homegrown one. They are so much better than any you can find at a store.
Ok, Ok! You can't pop a pumpkin in your mouth but boy are they fun to see grow. Pumpkins are big, have big flowers and large leaves so everything about them is dramatic. In a container, you just need 1 seed to give you several large pumpkins that will be spilling out of your container in late summer/fall. Pumpkin seeds also have the advantage of being really big and recognizable for kids. They can even use the seeds from a fall pumpkin you bought, store it is a dark, dry place and then plant the seed in the spring which makes it really rewarding. We have just plopped our old pumpkins into the garden and let them decompose (fun for kids to watch) and then thin out the seedlings that pop up in spring since frankly one seedling will enough.