RODALE NEWS, EMMAUS, PA—Teach a kid to grow a carrot, and she’ll probably eat more of them, according a new study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association. The study found that kids who are involved in the process of growing their own food are more likely to have healthier diets.
THE DETAILS: Children in 4th through 6th grades attended a YMCA summer camp program called “Delicious and Nutritious Garden,” during which they worked in the garden, taste-tested fruits and vegetables, and used them to make their own snacks. At the end of the 12-week program, 98 percent of kids said they liked the taste tests, 93 percent said they liked the cooking aspect, 96 percent liked working in the garden, and 91 percent said they actually enjoyed learning about fruits and vegetables.
WHAT IT MEANS: One of the conclusions of the study was that food and nutrition professionals should use this sort of “seed-to-table” education program to educate kids about healthy eating. But at a time when state budgets are chopping away at many extracurricular school activities and household budgets are pinching every penny, gardening classes for kids might seem like a luxury. Which is why parents need to step up.
Here are a few affordable ways to get a kids’ garden going: