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3501 New York Ave NE
Washington, DC, 20002
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202-245-2709

Washington Youth Garden

Grow it and they will eat!

April Martin

Technique 3: Involve your kids in the entire food process from seeding to eating.

I’m a science nerd.  I have a science degree, I taught secondary science for more than five years and I still can rarely resist the science feature in the New York Times.

So when we decided to do a series about how to get kids to eat more fruits and vegetables, I was determined to find some evidence-based techniques - methods that aren’t just personal, but have been shown to work on lots of different kinds of people.

While there are less studies done on the dietary implications of personal gardens, school gardens and the associated curriculum have been shown to really change students’ eating habits for the better over time.  The article linked below from the Journal of Child Nutrition and Management did a review of the studies that have been done regarding the topic and, while there is always room for more evidence, the news is positive:

image

Dietary intervention trials that provide nutrition education through activities, hands-on food preparation, and taste-testing have been shown to increase
consumption of fruits and vegetables and increase levels of nutrition knowledge among study participants (Knai, Pomerleau, Lock, & McKee, 2006)
.

So, garden with your children.  Involve them in the cooking.  Volunteer at your child’s school garden.  Visit the Washington Youth Garden.  And don’t forget to be a healthy role model yourself!

- Charla, WYG Development and Communications Manager (and lifelong science junkie)