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Parent to Parent: Gardening solutions for kids who have asthma
Parent to Parent

Parent to Parent: Gardening solutions for kids who have asthma

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Q • We have twin boys, age 4, and one 9-year-old girl. Unfortunately, they all have allergies, just as I do. It gets so hot where we live with such high humidity, going outside is almost a no-win. We would love for them to have the “family” garden experience and was wondering how we could somehow make an indoor garden where things actually grow. If you and others have any ideas that have proved to be successful, please let us know.

From a readers • We have an outdoor garden and also got the AeroGarden Harvest Elite as an anniversary gift from my parents. The kids really enjoy it, and we can finally grow herbs all year long. It's been a wonderful teaching tool for our kids, and they've even started eating more veggies. We got it this past February and so far it's been great. Check it out and see if this system is something you might want to consider for indoor gardening. — Gloria W. in Atlanta

From Jodie Lynn • Depending on where you live, you can still grow several different types of veggies for the fall, especially if you have a mild fall and winter.

If you have a patio, deck or porch, you can plant in various sizes of pots and the kids can help to take care of them. Just have them put on a mask and this will help with their allergies.

If you have a sunny area inside your home, that can work as well. Some of the things that grow well in the fall and early winter are: Onions, beets, squash, rutabaga, parsnips and rhubarb and much more.

Look up your particular area and it will tell you what types of veggies and herbs and even flowers grow best and when to plant them.

As far as the hydroponic indoor garden systems, these are a very convenient and pretty cool way to grow tomatoes and all kinds of veggies throughout the year no matter where you live.

For those of you that might not know what hydroponic means, it's growing plants using water as opposed to soil. These range in a wide variety of prices, styles, type of containers and colors, and some have plenty of whistles and bells.

There are ones that even have a “vacation mode” that allows you to customize a program of when to water and turn on/off growing lights and nutrients for the plants while you are gone. Some come with little off the path treasures like the bottom having a fish tank, which kids find very exciting.

Because of this, prices for the units can go all the way up to around a thousand dollars or more.

With this in mind, I do want to emphasize that it's super important to check the reviews from verified purchasers and to also take a look at the question and answer area about each indoor garden system you are considering. There's a world of knowledge there if you will take the time to do the research.


We've noticed that some insurance companies are giving customers a break in the price of car insurance now that people aren't driving as much. Is this something we could consider for our two teenage kids? They are driving less but share one car. I'm just not sure if we should consider this in our situation. What are other parents doing with teenage drivers?

Jodie Lynn is an award-winning parenting columnist, author of five books and mother to three children. She and her family live in Wildwood.

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