Grow Tasty Food in Your Own Backyard Garden for National Nutrition Month

As we celebrate National Nutrition Month, it's essential to highlight the significance of incorporating fresh, wholesome foods into our diets. One of the most rewarding ways to do so is by cultivating your own backyard garden. Not only does gardening provide a source of physical activity and stress relief, but it also allows you to have direct control over the quality and variety of fruits, vegetables, and herbs you consume. As a Registered Dietitian with Jefferson County Health Center (JCHC), I'm excited to share some insights on how you can grow tasty and nutritious foods right in your backyard.

1. Plan Your Garden:

Start by selecting a suitable spot in your backyard that receives adequate sunlight and has good drainage. Consider the size of your garden and what types of plants you'd like to grow. Research the specific needs of each plant, including soil requirements, spacing, and watering frequency.

2. Choose Nutrient-Rich Varieties:

Opt for a variety of fruits, vegetables, and herbs that are packed with essential nutrients. Include leafy greens like spinach, kale, and Swiss chard, which are rich in vitamins A, C, and K. Tomatoes, peppers, and carrots are excellent sources of antioxidants, while herbs like basil, parsley, and cilantro add flavor and depth to your dishes.

4. Embrace Seasonal Eating:

Plan your garden according to the seasons to maximize freshness and flavor. Spring and summer are ideal for growing tomatoes, cucumbers, and zucchini, while fall and winter are perfect for root vegetables like carrots, beets, and potatoes. Embrace seasonal eating by incorporating these freshly harvested ingredients into your meals.

5. Involve the Whole Family:

Gardening can be a fun and educational activity for the whole family. Get children involved in planting, watering, and harvesting vegetables, teaching them valuable lessons about where food comes from and the importance of nutritious eating habits. Create a sense of ownership and pride in growing your own food together.

6. Enjoy the Harvest:

As your garden flourishes, savor the joy of harvesting your own fresh produce. Experiment with new recipes and culinary techniques to make the most of your homegrown ingredients. Whether it's a vibrant salad, a hearty stir-fry, or a fragrant herb-infused sauce, let the flavors of your garden inspire your culinary creations.

Looking for more help in following a nutritious diet? Talk to your Primary Care Provider about dietitian services. Be sure to check with your insurance company to see if dietitian services are covered. Then talk to your Primary Care Provider about a referral. For questions about dietician services, call 641-469-4245.


Click the link below to view the recipe.

Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas



University of Illinois Extension, "Vegetable Gardening Basics"

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, "The Nutrition Source: Vegetables and Fruits"

University of Minnesota Extension, "Growing Vegetables in Minnesota Gardens"