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Gardens at School Lead to Healthier Lifestyles for Students

Gardens at School Might Boost Availability of Vegetables at Home
Research out of the US is suggesting that school gardens could lead to healthier lifestyles in students. Below are stories on two such studies. We here in Canada are starting to see the same evidence emerge but it’s going to be important to capture this in Canadian schools.

Gardens at School Might Boost Availability of Vegetables at Home

Having a garden at school might influence whether vegetables are available to children at home, a forthcoming study in Preventive Medicine finds.

Home fruit and vegetable availability is a strong determinant of how much people eat them, and fruit and vegetable consumption in turn is associated with a number of improved health outcomes, including reduced risk of developing certain types of cancer and cardiovascular disease. But research finds kids don’t eat nearly enough fruits and vegetables. Between 2007 and 2010, 93 percent of kids didn’t meet the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Patterns vegetable intake recommendations, according to a 2014 report published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Between 2007 and 2010, 93 percent of kids didn’t meet the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Patterns vegetable intake recommendations, according to a 2014 report published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Researchers at Cornell University, Washington State University, Iowa State University and University of Arkansas hypothesized that exposure to fruits and vegetables through school gardens might have carryover effects beyond the classroom. The study was a randomized, controlled trial conducted from 2011 to 2013 involving nearly 3,000 children at 46 elementary schools where at least half of students qualified for free or reduced-price meals. The schools were located in Arkansas, Iowa, New York and Washington state.

About half of the schools received raised bed or container garden kits and related, grade-appropriate lessons. The other schools received no intervention. READ MORE

By Chloe Reichel
www.bluezones.com


Can Teaching Kids to Cook Make Them Healthier Later in Life?

New research suggests that learning how to cook as a young person leads to better eating practices—and better health—later in life.
Can Teaching Kids to Cook Make Them Healthier Later in Life?
Photo courtesy of Wellness in the Schools.

It’s a hot afternoon in late May and Sierra Sutton, Risa Luk, and Sissi Mesa, all seniors at the High School for Environmental Studies in Manhattan, are roasting trays of broccoli and potatoes to serve for lunch at the Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen. The meal is the culmination of a year-long, in-school food course developed by the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture in Tarrytown. The primary aim is to educate kids about the complex workings of the food system and how they can help to change it. The course also aims to teach students a little something about cooking, nutrition, and food budgeting—once the purview of the home economics classes offered across the U.S.

A continuing epidemic of obesity among Americans of all ages—affecting nearly 20 percent of children age 6 to 19 and almost 40 percent of adults—has led food advocates such as Michael Pollan, Salt, Sugar, Fat author Michael Moss, and the late Anthony Bourdain to call for a return to home ec for everyone. Teach them how to feed themselves well, the reasoning goes, and you’ll give them the tools to stay healthy into and throughout adulthood. It’s a logical enough premise, and one that informs a growing number of cooking classes that have been springing up around the country. But until earlier this year, there was no concrete scientific evidence that it works. READ MORE

 July 30, 2018
https://civileats.com/

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6 hours ago

Today is Family Literacy Day and this year's theme is: Learning in the Great Outdoors 🌱🍓🌳🏵️How perfect! Last fall we celebrated all the ways that farm to school is grounded in land-based learning. We have seen the healthy impacts of outdoor classrooms and we encourage hands-on-learning as part of the school curriculum! bit.ly/34iYnsgHow do YOU learn in the great outdoors?Check out resources and activities with Life Literacy Canada: abclifeliteracy.ca/all-programs/family-literacy-day/@abclifeliteracy #farm2school #landbasedlearning #outdoorclassrooms #handsonlearning ... See MoreSee Less
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2 weeks ago

It has been 5 years since the launch of the Farm to School Canada Grant program. Incredibly, that program has now afforded more than 53,000 students in 133 schools right across Canada an opportunity to feast on healthy local foods at school.One of most important aspects of the grant program continues to be it's FLEXIBILITY, underpinned by the understanding that a cookie cutter approach to school food is NOT going to work in Canada. To close the distance between children, their food and their land, in this vast country with it’s diverse ecosystems and its multicoloured tapestry of people and food culture, the program needs to meet children, schools, and whole communities where they were at. It also needs to be developed, and driven by the community - the school and the local food system community.Today, if you visit any of these schools you will likely see a whole lot more than a salad bar. School greenhouses, gardens, farms, smoke houses, root cellars, kitchens, and/or dining areas are commonplace in recipient schools. And in these places, often the heartbeat of the school, you will likely see dozens of excited children happily digging in.I suppose this is why I am thrilled to see that F2CC and WKF have put out another call for proposals. Up to $10,000 per school is available. If your school has a vision, partners, and a plan, please send in a proposal. Deadline January 31, 2022. www.farmtocafeteriacanada.ca/our-work/farm-to-school-grants/ ... See MoreSee Less
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