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