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These days we have no idea what goes into our food. Chemicals, toxic sprays and so much more. One of the amazing benefits from growing your own food, means that our fruits and vegetables can be clean and completely organic. And that’s the best way to eat them!

When kids are outside in the fresh air and planting seeds to grow their own vegetables, fruits and flowers, it can do wonders for their development both mentally and physically.

Here are the top 5 reasons why kids should learn to grow their own food

1. They will LOVE to eat vegetables

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Eating healthy food is very important for brain and body development but it can be difficult sometimes to get children to eat fruits and vegetables. However, the moment your child has their own garden and grows their own carrots, beans or lettuce, they will most likely want to eat their little creations. Additionally things taste better when we’ve grown them in our garden!

2. They will have less toxins in their bodies

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When you go to the supermarkets you will notice that fruits and vegetables are perfect. Apples are perfectly round and red in colour, or the spinach you get will have no holes in it. But have you ever thought about how that produce got into this perfect state? In most cases it has been sprayed with chemicals so that it doesn't get eaten by pests. Every time a child eats from their own garden they are putting toxin-free produce into their growing and developing bodies. Toxins are everywhere. They are in the food we eat, the mattresses we sleep on, and the clothes we wear. They poison our enzymes, they break down our bones to make them weaker, and they damage our organs and DNA. Sometimes there isn’t much we can about the pollutants in the air, but the one thing we have full control over is how we eat. Growing your own food, in your very own composted soil and eating it fresh is so important for the health of our bodies and also to the health of our planet.

3. They will indirectly learn about science

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Usually when children plant their own seeds they become interested to see what will happen next. “Will it grow? Will it sprout? When can I eat it?” They will monitor the progress of their plant every day and as a result learn the basic scientific process of botany. Who knows? You might have a future scientist in your midst!

4. They will learn life skills and responsibility

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Encouraging your child to grow their own food teaches them responsibility for a living thing. When kids have plants, they learn to water them, sing to them, and generally take care of them every day. Growing their own food also shows them that they can be self-sufficient and not rely on food companies to nourish their bodies. Everyone can enjoy gardening, but this activity helps kids learn about social responsibility for our planet.

5. They will care about the planet

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An important part of growing your own plants and eating fresh vegetables is also being able to dispose of them properly. Your leftover peels and pulps should be stored in a box and composted to eventually become clean and toxic-free soil. This is a very important method to make sure that our fruits and veggies aren’t growing in soil that's full of chemicals. Learning how to garden sustainably and responsibly ensures that the children understand the importance of keeping our planet clean. They are the future, so they need to be taught to care early on.

How can we learn all of this? The free event at Time Square Center

Time Square Center
Check out the Busy Little Hands event at Time Square Center Image Credit: Supplied

Every weekend until March 9, Time Square Center on Shaikh Zayed Road, will let your kids discover an eco-friendly world through free workshops and play, where they can learn everything from food decorating, gardening and composting.

Time Square Center has brought in experts to teach the little ones about where our food comes from and how to sustain a healthy and well-balanced life. During these weekend events, kids will learn how to grow their own plants and compost the food waste properly once they’ve eaten. I tried the class myself and could see how much fun the kids were having making their own fresh soil.

Children Compost Workshop

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In the composting class you can expect to get your hands dirty. Kids will have to put bio-waste (the inedible parts of fruits and veggies) into a pot and combine it with soil and dry leaves in order to make their own natural soil. It’s a short 20 to 30 minute workshop, where kids can even paint their pot with markers and natural food colouring.

This free workshop takes place on February 28 from 5pm to 5.30 and 6pm to 6.30pm, March 1 and March 8 from 12.30pm to 1pm, 2.15pm to 2.45pm, 3.30pm to 4pm and 4.45pm to 5.15pm and on March 2 and 9 from 1pm to 1.30, 2.30pm to 3pm and 4pm to 4.30 and on March 7 from 5pm to 5.30pm and 6pm to 6.30pm

Little Gardner Workshop

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Another fantastic class is the gardening workshop. It’s a very popular one, so make sure you head down early to get a spot. Kids plant their own seeds in different layers of earth, and learn about eco-systems and how plants thrive. The best part is they get to take their little plant home with them.

This free workshop takes place on February 28 from 5pm to 5.30 and 6pm to 6.30pm, March 1 and March 8 from 12.30pm to 1pm, 2.15pm to 2.45pm, 3.30pm to 4pm and 4.45pm to 5.15pm and on March 2 and 9 from 1pm to 1.30, 2.30pm to 3pm and 4pm to 4.30 and on March 7 from 5pm to 5.30pm and 6pm to 6.30pm

Junior Chef Workshop

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In addition to the important life lessons, they have great junior chef lessons, where kids can learn different ways to make food fun. They have pasta art lessons, fruit decorating workshops and cupcake decorating too. Kids will sit on little picnic tables where chefs will interact with them and teach them how to have fun with food and make healthy snacks and sandwiches.

This free workshop takes place on February 28 from 3pm to 3.45pm and 5pm to 5.30pm, March 1 and March 8 from 1pm to 1.30, 3pm to 3.30pm and 5pm to 5.30, on March 2 and 9 from 12.45pm to 1.15, 2pm to 3.30pm and 5pm to 5.30 and on March 7 from 3pm to 3.45pm and 5pm to 5.30pm

Other fun activities include food tastings and different roaming mascots

Remember, kids are in the process of growing and developing their bodies and brains, which means they are very vulnerable to the pollution and chemicals that surround them. It is our responsibility to teach them about healthy eating habits, sustainability and how to grow and recycle your food to eliminate waste.

Children are the future of this planet. The habits that we teach them now could stay with them forever and possibly change the world to make their future more sustainable.

Time Square Center is all about sustainability. One of the key objectives for them is to achieve zero food waste in 2019. The mall is changing traditional operational practices that will help combat the problem by educating customers on how to responsibly segregate their food waste.

Times Square Center has taken the initiative to install a machine that will transform food waste from its restaurants, cafes and supermarkets, into organic compost soil, that will be used for landscaping and planting at the mall.

It is important that people in the UAE understand the issues surrounding food waste and how an individual can play a small role, by promoting environmental-friendly practices that support sustainable development.

Plus… If you spend Dh200 or more at any Times Square Center store, three lucky winners will have the opportunity to win Mall gift vouchers worth up to Dh10,000. The draw date will be on March 10, 2019.

Location Times Square Center Shaikh Zayed Road

Cost Free

Timings Every weekend starting February 21 until March 9

Contact 04 3418020

Here is the list of activities taking place on every weekend until March 9:

• Junior Chef Workshop

o Arts & Crafts with Pasta

o Cup Cake Decoration

o Pasta Art Jeweler

o Healthy Sandwiches

o Create Art with Fruits,

• Food Tasting Activity

• Little Gardener Workshop

• Children Compost Workshop

• Fruit & Sweets Roaming Mascots

• Children Compost Workshop

• Chefs Roaming Mascot

Check out the full details of the free event here:

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