Every state in the US has many Farm to School programs. It’s been proven many times over in order for kids to overcome obesity a connection the mother earth needs to be made.
In order for the children to make the connection to their food, they need to be engaged with a community garden or farmer or school that has a garden so they can learn how to east better. The challenge we face right now in the USA is the many neighborhoods lack supermarkets or farmer markets in which people can buy fresh vegetables. Instead there is a fast-food restaurant or a 7-11 around each corner serving nothing but undernourished foods. In the book Food Justice written by Robert Gottieb, Anupama Joshi, they write about the transformation of changing and finding ways to rethink how we can transform our youth.
Farm to School Programs
Farm to school activities is trending up; many schools that do not currently have farm to school programs are planning to start them, and millions of children will be exposed to healthy foods and learning about where food comes from. In fact, in school year 2011-2012, schools invested over $350 Million in locally produced, healthy food. This adds up to major benefits for American nutrition and local economies. Read more about the trends.
What we really need to do is to educate our children about vegetables and other healthy foods, let them taste it so they become educated and learn for themselves what they like or what they don’t like. As a community it’s important that we come together and learn from each other.
Create a program in your school that will allow a community garden or school garden, when kids are a part of something exciting, they will take ownership of it and continue to learn and grow. There are many vegetables I have not even tried, what I have learned is to ask someone in a grocery store – what do you do with this? ____ or google and ask for a recipe or more information about it.
At LEAF they have community gardens to help their local community to learn more about different foods from different cultures only to realize how common or similar our vegetables are. We just cook them differently. 90% of of people who attended the cooking demo’s said, they would try out the recipe that was presented.
Keep in mind there are so many resources available to help you to get started, even if it’s just in your own home. I am attaching some lessons and ways in which you can get started.
Farm for Pre-school Children
Eat Think Grow
California Farm to School Programs