School Gardens as a Nutrition Education Tool

Because children spend much of their time in the school setting, schools have the opportunity to play a large role in the adoption of healthy living habits. There are many ways teachers can present nutrition education, but gardening provides a fun, interactive way to teach and learn these habits.

Benefits of using gardens to teach nutrition include:

  • Gardens provide a site for hands-on learning and to practice using the scientific method.

  • Children are excited about eating fruits and vegetables that they grew themselves.

  • Students will obtain a greater appreciation for how their food is grown. (Carrots do not magically appear on grocery store shelves.)

  • Gardens can be used to teach food safety through proper harvest, processing and storage.

  • Children may have the opportunity to practice preparing nutritious foods and to try new foods to expand their diets.

  • Gardening is a skill children can use for the rest of their lives that promotes better health and wellness.

  • Nutrition education through school gardens increases children's knowledge about fruits and vegetables, which may improve their attitudes towards these foods and lead to better eating habits.

  • Gardens can teach children how to obtain fruits and vegetables and give them a greater appreciation for food processes by observing growth, maintaining the plants and participating in harvest.

  • Nutrition in the Garden* Back to School Gardens