The Complete Kids’ Carry-On Packing List

The Complete Kids’ Carry-On Packing List

Do you struggle at the last minute before a vacation and long for a quick and easy kids’ carry-on packing list? What you have with you on the airplane can be a lifesaver, just as a possible missing item can unleash a frustrated ear-splitting series of wails from a small traveler!

You need a complete carry-on packing list!

Of course, it’s possible ignore all the stares from the passengers around you. However, several years ago all I could see was judgment and glares, although some sympathize. Now, I don’t really care what others think, and the focus is on how to calm and reassure my child.

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small percentage if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Kids on an airplane

This summer we returned home from an international trip and were just at the end of a twelve and a half hour flight. If you want to picture it, I sat in between my two kids in a row of three seats by the window. In addition, my husband sat directly across the aisle.

This was the second flight in a series of three to get us home and so far the kids had been awesome. Cue trouble.

The dreaded seat-belt sign

First, the seatbelt sign turned on, and my worn out 4-year-old stared at it a second and then went into panic mode. “Potty! Potty! Mommy, I need the potty!” Now, at this point, it didn’t really matter what I said to him or how I reassured him.

Quick as a flash he had his seatbelt off and was clawing me to get into the aisle. We’d already learned the toilets were locked when the seatbelt sign was lit up, and after what felt like an eternity of screaming a flight attendant came by.

She looked pointedly at my struggling son and said, “Ma’am, I must ask you to put the seatbelt on. We’ve begun our descent.”

The Request

Now, I’m a rule follower and want to support flight attendants and put safety first. However, I don’t think our elevation had changed at all, there was no turbulence, and we were not anywhere close to landing. Everything I tried to make the child comfortable and sit back down in his seat failed.

He continued to scratch and scream, and he’s a strong kid! Another attendant walked by looking irritated, and I said, “Could you please unlock the door to let him go to the bathroom? He’ll calm down and be fine if he can just use the restroom.”

“Ma’am. The seatbelt light is on,” he began, and then just adopted an expression of incredible inconvenience. “Come with me.”

My son did his business and was back in his seat with his belt on, now a perfect angel. The anxiety over, he waited for us to land. I know my son, and it didn’t matter he was in a pull-up for the flight for just such a situation. Basically, he was tired, panicked, in one-track mode, and couldn’t think of anything but getting to the bathroom. I breathed a sigh of relief and turned to check on my daughter, whose eyes widened looking into mine, and at that instant, she threw up all over me.

We won’t ever be prepared for absolutely everything.

Why do I share this story? We can’t be prepared for everything, but we can help our kids limit the risk of panic and frustration and use a well-thought out kids’ carry on packing list.

Be assured your kids will be ready and entertained on their next flight when you use this kids’ carry-on packing list.

The complete kids' carry on packing list can be a lifesaver for family travel. Be prepared with kids on an airplane. #familytravel #packinglist

The Complete Kids’ Carry-On Packing List

Click on the picture of the item to see an example of it on Amazon.

1. The Bag

 
When selecting a bag for your child choose something they can carry themselves or pull on their own. Don’t get one that’s too big you’ll end up carrying it the entire trip.

2. Stuffed animal or blanket

Bring that one favorite stuffed animal or blanket. Your little one may need the extra comfort and a friend to talk to!

3. Tablet or iPad (with a good case)
 

Yes, yes, I know. This is the one time I let the kids play on the iPad or Kindle and do not try to limit their screen time. My goal is to get through the trip, and screens are a HUGE help.

Before you go, make sure your devices are charged and cords are packed where you can get at them. Also, download a bunch of new movies, shows, or games last through your no internet flight. I highly recommend Shaun the Sheep.

3. Headphones

You will want to test out the headphones for your kids before you go to be sure of sizes. In addition, in order to prevent fighting, it’s important to have a set of headphones for each kid (and a tablet for each if possible).

4. Coloring/activity books

       
My kids don’t use these too much on the plane, but they were a big hit for killing time during our layovers between flights. It all depends on the kids’ moods at the time.

5. Crayons (triangle) or Twistables, colored pencils
 

I love these triangular crayons because they don’t roll around on your airplane tray table. They still can fall to the floor obviously but are much less likely to, and I’ll take that!

6. Pencil pouch with pencils and pens
 

I admit I chose these pencil pouches for me, but you can get just about any color and style in the school supply area of your local store. They’re awesome for keeping those individual pencils and pens, erasers, or whatever the child deems necessary.

7. Travel journal or My Quiet Book

Travel Journal preview for kids' carry on   
Click here to take you to the post to download!

An older child can fill out the basic information and begin their travel journal for a trip, and for a younger child, something like this My Quiet Book is fabulous. You can tie shoes, button buttons stick things on, and it’s all attached to the book so you drop and lose nothing.

8. Mad Libs and joke books

          

First of all, it’s always good to laugh. Secondly, if your kids are laughing as you roll your eyes in your mind, it’s a lot better than a tantrum in the middle of the airport or plane. Have fun with it!

9. Book(s) to read

   
I always have a book to read with me on an airplane, and it’s always good to encourage reading time for kids. Get them engrossed in Harry Potter, and you won’t have to worry about them until the flight’s over and the book needs to be put away. So load up that Kindle or bring the physical book, but read!

10. Post-it notes

Now, Post-it notes may sound like an odd necessity to you, but they’re great especially for younger kids. My four-year-old thinks it’s a huge treat to draw creatures on all his sticky notes and then put them up all over the chair, window, airplane tray, and any other spot he can find. It takes a lot of time…FABULOUS!

11. Origami book and paper

     
Do you love origami? Origami is hugely popular in our family, and the kids love to do it at any time so why not on an airplane? It’s entertaining, takes up time, and you have a paper crane or boat at the end of it.

You can also tell them about the Japanese legend that says the one who folds 1000 Origami paper cranes will be granted a wish. And…go!

12. Games – UNO, a deck of cards, Skip-Bo, etc.

     

Card games are great for waiting to get on the airplane and a fun way to get the whole family interacting in a positive way. Who doesn’t like UNO?

13. Travel pillow

You always debate whether or not to splurge on using your packing space for a travel pillow. I think it depends on the person and how long your flight actually is, but my daughter loved hers on our last several flights. We were all able to rest a lot better with them, and I believe it’s worth the space. Make sure to get the right size of pillow for each person. I know from experience my adult-sized pillow will not work for my four-year-old.

14. Snacks (Mom will have back-ups in her carry-on)


Snacks are a must to get through a flight. We always bring nut-free snacks when on an airplane, and there are some great options out there without having to pay a fortune at the airport snack bar.

15. Wipes

This one is fairly self-explanatory, but they’ve saved me so many times. I always have a pack of Wet Ones in my purse!

16. Play-doh

An odd choice maybe? I thought so at first, but Play-Doh worked out really well on the airplane. It was fun sculpting and making snakes, and the kids were really good about keeping it on the tray table.

17. Make sure Mom has changes of clothes for everyone AND motion sickness medicine.

Kids' Carry On packing list preview

Do you need snack ideas for a flight?

Long-Haul Flight Snacks

Do you have a carry-on packing list?

There you have it. The complete kids’ carry-on packing list. When I got off the airplane in Los Angeles to go through customs with vomit all over me, I was grateful to have a well-packed kids’ carry-on bag. We were able to get through the airport, change, calm everyone down, and make it to our next flight without further problems. Sometimes it’s the little things that make a difference. Have a great flight!

Are you traveling with young toddlers or babies who can’t handle their own carry-on? Check out these great ideas for the Best Backpack Diaper Bag For Travel and Everyday.

Kids Travel Journal

Kids Travel Journal

A kids travel journal is the ultimate fun and memorable activity on a family vacation! You know all that time in the car or on the airplane? Use it wisely and have your kids reflect on what they’ve seen, eaten, and experienced!

Do your kids love to look back at old photos? What about old school papers and accomplishments?

Both of my kids do, especially my daughter. She is my child who likes to write stories, make lists, and have written and physical souvenirs of past adventures. If you’ve followed this blog at all you may have seen or downloaded the original kids travel journal I created for her.

While we still LOVE it, and it’s been great for past travels and adventures, the child is ready for something new.

That’s why I put together this new journal. Next week we’re heading off on a Spring Break road trip, and it requires something new and fresh for her to put her mind to!

In a hurry?

Scroll to get the travel journal bonus! Or PIN it for later here!

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small percentage if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

A kids travel journal is the perfect road trip or air travel activity! Give the kids something to do as they travel, make memories, and reflect on new experiences. #kidstravel #traveljournal

 

The journey, not the arrival matters.

T.S. Eliot

Poet

What’s new in this kids travel journal?

First of all, I looked at quite a few ideas from my kids and others who’d used our original journal before. How could we make it better, more user-friendly, and still super-fun and engaging for kids?

One of the first things I did was change the size of the journal. Instead of a full page, I changed it to a half-sheet printout.

Why do you ask? Well, the half-sheet size is easier to travel with. It will fit in all sizes of bags, purses, backpacks, as a bookmark in a book, you name it.

It makes it easier to pull out and write/draw on any place you go whether it be in a car, a museum, or when you sit down to rest during a hike.

Record and reflect on family vacations with this printable kids travel journal. Fun and easy to take on the go, it's perfect for road trips, air travel, or any kids' outing! #kidstraveljournal #travelprintable

Another thing that’s changed is the amount of color vs. white space.

This journal has some pictures and color, but not as much as the last one. It was done on purpose so it’s easier to print out either in black and white, full color, or grayscale, depending on your preference. This also lets the child doodle in the edges and put in their own colors.

In addition, I’ve added some more prompts to spark kids imaginations.

For example, there’s a page for the day with the weather, how I feel, and other things listed. But then there are also pages on what I ate today, where I’m sleeping, who I saw, etc.

Depending on the kid, you may want to use all the pages or just a few and make more copies based on the length of the trip.

Filling out the kids travel journal. #kidstravel #printables

List of travel journal activity pages

  • Cover Page: My Travel Journal
  • Name and contact page with space to draw a self-portrait
  • Where in the world are you going? A world map to record where you travel.
  • Where in the USA are you going? A map of the USA to record where you travel.
  • The daily page includes:
    • Today’s Date:
    • I felt
    • The weather was:
    • I learned:
    • I met:
    • Three things I did today:
    • Today I traveled by:
  • What I ate
  • Written prompts: Three words to describe today, I miss…, I tried something new today!, I felt…
  • Out my window is a place to draw what they’ve seen out their window today!
  • Tonight we are staying… (where, and place to draw it)
  • Written prompts 2: The best thing about today was…, my least favorite thing was…, three words to describe this city/town are…, three questions I have are…
  • Today I learned a new word! This page includes a word bubble with an area to draw and a field to describe what it means.
  • Today I saw this! Includes a space to draw/color and descriptive words.
  • Here is a portrait of a person I saw today.
  • Today I saw this animal.
  • Trip Reflection page

Pages of the kids travel journal with a pen. #kidstraveljournal #kidsactivities

It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.

J.R.R. Tolkien

Author, The Lord of the Rings


New Kids Travel Journal Bonus

Sign up for Explorer Momma’s newsletter and get the NEW Kids Travel Journal as a bonus! If you’re already on our list, awesome! You can still download the journal!

Preview of the new kids travel journal #kidstravel #kidstraveljournal

How to download the kids travel journal

First, enter your first name and email in the field below. Second, open up your email, and in a few minutes or less you should receive an email. Click on the button in the email to confirm your subscription to the Explorer Momma newsletter and your bonus kids travel journal should then download to your computer.

It’s that simple! Print out the entire thing or pick and choose the pages your child would most enjoy!

What do you think of the journal?

So far the journal has met approval with my own kids. We’ll be giving it the full road trip test next week, and I can’t wait to see how it goes!

After this one, as my daughter gets older we may turn to a basic blank journal with a few travel quotes here and there.

However, for now, when they’re in elementary school, this style of a journal is still appealing. It also makes kids think a bit about their travels. Who they’ve seen, what they’ve done, cultural differences, etc.

Do please let me know if you use it with the kids in your life! I hope it’s useful, and let me know if you have any suggestions to make it even better!

PIN it here for later:

An easy to use kids travel journal is perfect for any family vacation! Whether the kids are on a road trip, airplane, or train it makes a memorable travel diary. #traveljournal #kidstraveljournal

 

More kids travel activities:

  1. The Ultimate Road Trip Activities for Kids
  2. Kids Airplane Activities: Airplane BINGO
  3. 8 Ways to Survive a Long Layover with Kids
  4. The Complete Kids Carry-On Packing List

Kids Travel Journal

The Perfect Road Trip or Air Travel Activity!
Click here to check our the Original Travel Journal Printable

How to get a FREE US National Parks pass

How to get a FREE US National Parks pass

There’s something magical about being a kid in a national park. Everything is new and wondrous and makes an imprint in your mind that will last a lifetime. Did you know that every single fourth grader in the United States can get a FREE Every Kid in a Park Pass? Yes, a free US National Parks pass. It’s good for the entire family for the whole year and gets you into not just National Parks but all federal lands and waters. How cool is that?! My daughter’s in fourth grade this year and has so inspired our year we’ve titled “Operation US National Parks for Families”.

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small percentage if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Impact of U.S. National Parks on kids

I grew up in Colorado and feel as though Rocky Mountain National Park is my own backyard and safe haven or escape. It is and will always be near and dear to my heart, but another national park also made a huge impact and imprint on my childhood. When I was a kid, my grandparents lived in Homer, Alaska. We were fortunate enough to be able to travel up there to visit them a couple of times and also experience the magic that is the Kenai Fjords National Park.

Kenai Fjords National Park, glacier calving

I remember being entranced by the glacier and the huge variety of wildlife I saw in one relatively small area. We took a tour on a little tour boat, and I think my hands were on the bars at the very front with the wind blowing in my face the entire time. I leaned over to see porpoises jump next to us as we sailed along, whales breach and wave their tales in hello, colorful puffins in the rocky cliffs, the bark of sea lions lounging on rocks, a moose on the hill, and SO much more. In a time way before the Wild Kratts entered our lives this was a miracle for me to see. AND it was live and in person, real and in the wild to my mind. It was not a zoo.

Kenai Fjords National Park, sea lions

What is Operation U.S. Parks for Families?

Operation U.S. Parks for Families is a series of blog posts to be featured throughout the  2018-2019 Every Kid in a Park Pass year. The goal of this series is to inspire families to visit national parks together and provide them with ideas for amazing activities in each park they can do as a family.

Who will be featured in Operation U.S. Parks

To begin, Operation US National Parks for Families will feature some of our own fabulous past experiences at national parks. In addition, throughout the year I’ll be highlighting our CURRENT travels to different parks and federal lands. Then as an even bigger BONUS I’ll be highlighting the experiences of other families all over the country! I’m so excited about this aspect of the series so we can provide a broader picture of family experiences with different opinions, likes, dislikes, and interests!

Operation US National Parks for Families. Join our family and more as we travel the United States together. Learn how to get your free US National Parks pass! #travelwithkids #usnationalparks #everykidinapark #explorermomma

Get your FREE US National Parks Pass and join us! 

Would you like to join us for Operation US National Parks for Families Journey? We’d love to have you! Sign up for our newsletter to receive weekly updates on where we’re exploring! Will it be the caves in Carlsbad, New Mexico? Maybe, you’ll get to see and read about an adventure to the giant redwoods and sequoias of Sequoia National Park! Perhaps, if you’re really lucky, we’ll journey to Watkins Glen National Park in New York for scenery and kid-friendly hikes that could be straight out of a Tolkien book. So get your cloaks, backpacks, tents, elf-ears, or whatever you’d like to prepare and join our EPIC National Parks journey today!

How to sign up for your Every Kid in a Park Pass

How do you get your free US National Parks Pass? It is so super simple. All you do is go to the official US Government website here. Explore the website or just click on “Get Your Pass”. As I’m writing this they’ve recently updated the site for the 2018 to 2019 school year. Your fourth grader answers a few questions to make a diary entry to begin to figure out how they’d like to use their new pass. It’s super-easy and a fun activity.

free US National Parks pass, Hand on mouse

Once you sign up and complete the diary on the website, there will be a ticket to print out. Now, you can use it as your yearly pass, or you can take it to your first park or water area, show a ranger, and obtain a wallet-sized card for the year. Did I mention it’s FREE? What an awesome deal to bring families together in nature!

Congratulations! Free US National Parks pass

The next step is to take the family on hundreds of adventures until the card expires August 31, 2019 (or the current school year). Do you know what? If you miss something or don’t have time, little brother can get his own pass in the next year or two. Then you get to plan for that national park year as well!

How to use your free US National Parks Pass

If you’re going to use it you’ve got to plan your first trip! Are you going to camp in the woods? Do you want to see protected animals and wildlife? Maybe you’d just like to find your nearest park to start! Before you go read the official rules here. Then, just present your ticket as you enter the park! The park ranger will trade your printed paper copy of the ticket for an official Every Kid in a Park card, and your fourth grader will sign it. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

Every Kid in a park pass, free US National Parks pass

There are sooo many opportunities for exploration and fun with this pass! Literally, you’ve got hundreds of places to visit near or far, it’s up to you.

Plan your trip with Operation U.S. Parks for Families

Now, I challenge you! Get out and explore! Follow along with our blog series and gain inspiration. Yes, I formally invite you to travel along with us virtually on our Operation U.S. Parks for Families journey. You can create your own adventures, the sky’s the limit! It’s such fun to plan destinations as a family and give every member a say. Will you visi Mesa Verde National Park, Shenandoah National Park, or maybe Mount Rushmore National Monument?

The choice is yours.

Can you tell I’m excited!?

Lily Ridge Trail with free US National Parks pass

Carlsbad Caverns National Park for Families

10 Musts for visiting Carlsbad Caverns with kids

Let’s travel with our free US National Parks pass!

I am so thrilled to explore our US National and State parks all over the country! My family and I will be planning and writing about our own trips using the Every Kid in a Park Pass. Also, we’ll all have the opportunity to travel virtually all over the country with other National Park loving families. Truly, I cannot wait to see the beauty of our parks and hear about the super-awesome and life-changing family experiences only nature can inspire and bring together.

My friends, I hope you follow along with us on this magnificent journey to explore our US National Parks!

I’d love to see your own adventures! Tag me in your National and State Park travel pics on Instagram @explorermomma.

Explore a National Park today!

Pin this article to save and share!

Operation US National Parks for Families. Join our family and more as we travel the United States together. Learn how to get your free US National Parks pass! #travelwithkids #usnationalparks #everykidinapark #explorermomma     Did you know you can get a FREE US National Parks pass? Find out how and join our family travel adventure around the United States. #operationnationalparks #everykidinapark #familytravel #ustravel #explorermomma

Thanks to all and HAPPY TRAVELS!

Hospital care packages for kids

Hospital care packages for kids

This has been a bad year for the flu. In fact, it seems to be in line to set records this year, and evidently, hospitals and doctors’ offices are full of masked, tired-looking kids and adults. You may have noticed I’ve been a little behind in my newsletter and some of my online activities. Well, that’s what happens when you have a sick child at home for a couple weeks and then end up in the hospital for 5 days. Then you think about hospital care packages for kids.

This page contains affiliate links.

To look on the bright side, we did NOT have the flu. The child has many things happening we are so VERY thankful to have brilliant doctors on hand to help get under control. Actually, they said a couple times she was “not a textbook case”, and after the worst was over we took pleasure in stumping them. As I stayed in the hospital with her during this time, I was asked several times by friends and family, “What can we bring when we visit?”

Obviously, what to get a kid in the hospital or hospital care packages for kids will vary from kid to kid depending on their circumstances. We were not allowed to leave the room so things to create, read, or write were the best to occupy time and to lift the mood! It’s HARD to be in the hospital and can be very depressing. Kids LOVE gifts, and even the littlest thing can bring happiness and remind the patient of the visitor from earlier who loves them very much.

Hospital care packages for kids

What to get a kid in the hospital? Hospital care packages for kids!

These are just some ideas, and you’ll want to pick, choose, and tweak it for the child you know and love, but it’s a good place to get started!

What to put in a care package

Hospital care packages for kids close-up

Cute tote bag

Get a fun tote bag or a box and select activities such as the ones following to fill it up!

Lego set

This LEGO Elves The Water Dragon Adventure set was a huge hit with my 9-year-old. It’s so fun to see the new and different styles of Legos! This was a surprise gift and was a fun thing to put together in between naps at the hospital. I highly recommend putting some sort of Lego set in your hospital care packages for kids!

Hospital care bag Legos

 

Stuffed animal

A stuffed animal is so comforting to cuddle with and hug tightly when taking blood, putting an IV in, or really for any time in a hospital bed!

 

New book to read

Do you remember when the grandfather visits his sick grandson in The Princess Bride? What does he do? He sits down and proceeds to read an entire book to the sick kid. I remember how much I used to love being read to at school and at home. Turn off the TV and while you visit and read a chapter or two of a new book out loud to the sick child. Listening to someone read is incredibly relaxing and something you can do easily for the kid

 

Window art

Some sort of window art like this, or peel off clear decals that look like stained glass, is great fun! All you do is color or paint it and stick in a window to see how the light goes through it.

 

Foam puppets or other foam put together activity

 

 

New markers

There’s something incredibly satisfying about opening a new set of markers. They’re perfect, but only for a little while as you color and then before brother gets into them. Slowly they become old, worn out and sometimes dried. New ones draw crisp lines perfect for inside a new coloring book or other activity.

 

Activity books to color

These are fun to stick in a tote bag, and while they may not be the first thing pulled out, an activity book can be hours of distraction. That’s what we like!

 

 

Mad Libs or Mad Libs Junior

We love Mad Libs! With some energy, there can by a lot of laughing around a hospital bed depending on ages. A classic!

 

 

Puzzle books

Mazes, crosswords, and riddles are always fun. A cheesy joke book can lift the mood also!

 

 

Some sort of sewing or needlepoint

It’s never too early or too late to learn to sew!

 

 

Fancy coloring book

 

 

 

Gel pens

If you get a fancy new detailed coloring book, what do you need? Why gel pens of course! I love these. 🙂

 

Journal

A blank journal or one with prompts such as this is a good way to get kids thinking and to express their feelings on paper. The more you practice writing, the easier it gets! I always advise journaling for anyone, not just kids.

 

Try The Super Easy Best Paper Plane Ever!

Best paper airplane ever feature

Would you like some paper airplanes to soar around your hospital room? Check this out!

Head up to the hospital for a visit!

While it’s fantastic for a child to receive hospital care packages for kids, your visit is more important and what they’ll remember! If visitors are allowed, it’s a huge break in the monotony, brings joy, and makes the child feel special. There are only so many times you can watch the hospital movies and Mom dancing around the room to Zootopia music!

Hospital instruments view

I’m certainly thankful we’re no longer in need of a hospital care package for kids. However, I know there are so many kids who have extended stays or chronic illnesses bringing them back to the hospital time and time again. So what are you waiting for? Grab a stuffed animal or a tote full of activities and get out there! Enjoy your visit and make them smile!

Tell me – have you made hospital care packages for kids? Were they as a donation to a hospital or for one specific person?

Let me know in the comments what’s been successful for you!

What To Plant In Your Keto Vegetable Garden

What To Plant In Your Keto Vegetable Garden

Okay, I admit it. I love seed catalogs. No, not looking at a website online but a REAL, paper printed seed catalog with 20 varieties of pumpkins, berry bushes of all sorts, and pages of suggestions on herbs and seasonings. Generally, they start arriving in the middle of January when we’ve been frozen in long enough to be craving Spring. There’s something immensely satisfying in planning out your garden if it’s three pots or an acre, in the middle of a deep freeze. But what should I plant in a keto vegetable garden? What are ketogenic vegetables?

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What to plant in a keto vegetable garden? Are you planning a keto garden, what is a ketogenic garden, and are there keto friendly vegetables? Yes! #ketogarden #ketovegetables

This year, the joyous magazines began to arrive, and I had to stop to think. Last year I was only exploring a ketogenic diet and had not yet started so it did not factor into my garden planting. This year now I’m thinking, okay, how can I best use my small garden space and grow the keto friendly vegetables we’ll actually use? Is there such thing as keto gardening? What exactly is a keto vegetable garden?

Yes, I made that up. Keto garden: keto vegetable garden. What I really mean is what vegetables and plants are eaten in the keto diet, and what should I plant and cultivate. I’ve come up with a list of ideal veggies for our garden, which is not huge, and am in the process of narrowing it down to exactly how many plants, packets of seeds, etc. we actually need. 

What should you plant in a keto vegetable garden?

Keto Vegetables

Two cucumbers with vines and yellow flowers

  • Lettuce blends and individual varieties 
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Asparagus
  • Tomatoes – Monsters, beefy, cherry, grape, jelly bean, Early Girl, Roma, hybrid, heirloom
  • Peppers – bells, Anaheim, sweet banana, jalapeño
  • Green onions – bunching onions
  • Garlic
  • Eggplant
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Green Beans
  • Zucchini squash
  • Cucumbers
  • Pie pumpkins. We don’t eat a lot of pumpkin on a keto diet, but I certainly love them in fall! Can we say pumpkin spice?! 
  • Cinderella pumpkins – Rouge Vif d’Etampes

Keto Herbs

Overhead view of three pots in an herb garden

  • Basil
  • Cilantro
  • Parsley
  • Oregano
  • Tarragon
  • Mint
  • Dill
  • Sage
  • Chives
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme

Keto Fruits

Some people on a low carb or keto diet feel like they have to avoid all fruits. That’s simply not true, and my sweet tooth often craves a good almond flour raspberry muffin. Berries are healthy and can be eaten in moderation just like anything on a keto diet.

Raspberries on a fence in the sun

What must-have kitchen gadgets do you have to prepare a keto diet?

What have I cut out this year?

I chose not to include some of my usual staples this year because they don’t aline with the keto diet. They are not keto plants. Most are high carb or high sugar content, and so not ones I want to tempt myself with or actually use.

  • Beets
  • Potatoes
  • Parsnips
  • Sweet peas
  • Carrots
  • Butternut squash
  • Sweet potatoes

Kids love to plant for decoration

  • Jack-be-little pumpkins
  • Gourds
  • Wee be little pumpkins

What are some of the flowers I love?

Aren’t lupins beautiful?! My love of lupins stems back to one of my favorite childhood books, Miss Rumphius, who spreads lupin seeds around town to “make the world more beautiful”. We adore flowers, and getting more in our yard this year is one of my big goals.

Purple lupins

  • Zinnias
  • Snapdragons
  • Lupins
  • Roses
  • Lantanas
  • Peonies
  • Phlox
  • Lilacs

Do you not have a garden, but an outside concrete space or balcony? 

No worries! You can have a garden too. There are so many options out there today and new methods of growing. First, take a look at these possibilities, and then enjoy a trip out to your local garden center or farm. Gardening is great for kids and an awesome way to teach responsibility and a love of nature. If you have an outdoor space, even a small one, you can get a few pots together to plant a few vegetables.

  • Pots
  • Tubs
  • Raised bed gardens
  • Tiered planters

Plan and prioritize your keto vegetable garden

What do you prefer to buy, and what do you love to see grow? If it’s easier to buy cauliflower but you’d like to plant a high yielding zucchini plant, do that. Make a plan, experiment a bit, and enjoy it! Take a look at the websites I use in planning my garden.

Resources:

Jung Seeds Garden Planner This garden planner is a great online way to map out your garden space. It’s easy to use and fun to work with and save from year to year. Of course, a good old pencil and paper work well too, but we all love technology! Jung has some of the best seeds for our Colorado region.

Gurney’s Seed and Nursery Co. They send us some of my favorite seed catalogs!

Burpee More seed options.

Miss Rumphius 

by Barbara Cooney

This was one of my favorite childhood books with beautiful illustrations that inspired me to much of my planting. It would make a great gift for any young girl or even yourself!

 

Why should you plant a keto vegetable garden?

Why do I love gardens? So many reasons. I love to see my kids plant and take care of the vegetables to see where they come from and the work involved to grow our food. I have my own fond memories of following my dad around the garden picking little pumpkins and miniature blueberries I determined he planted just to keep me busy. Truly, there’s something spectacularly rewarding in tending to your garden, seeing it grow, and being able to pick and eat your results. Of course, it also gets us moving and outside in the beautiful sunshine!

My garden is never perfect but always fun and a new way to explore nature. One year all my tomatoes died, the next year bunnies burrowed and had baby bunnies in the center of the garden, you just never know what you’ll get! However, you always learn from it and enjoy the fruits of your labors.

What do you normally plant in your garden or what would you like to plant? Did you grow up with a garden or is it new to you? Oh! One more question, what are your favorite books about gardening, fiction or non-fiction? I’d love some recommendations!

What to plant in your keto vegetable garden. Plan your keto garden for spring and reap the keto friendly vegetables you love! #ketogarden #ketogenicgarden

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