Contact Us: 609-278-9622

Follow Us On:

Are Gardening Lessons a Solution to Childhood Obesity?

July 20, 2016 | Blog

kids and gardeningMany teachers have suggested that children as young as four should be given gardening lessons in schools as an option to help solve the current obesity crisis.  The Association of Teachers and Lecturers are urging schools to place gardening as an integral part of the curriculum.  The educators emphasize that children will learn the benefit of eating healthy foods through gardening lessons.

As the mother of two, I can honestly say both of my sons are full of curiosity, enjoy playing in the dirt and learn  by doing—all traits of a natural gardener. I also find that gardening is one more way to get our kids to eat more natural, healthy food options. Below are some fresh ways we’ve made gardening fun and exciting for our kids:

  1. Get colorful tools. Colorful tools (gardening gloves, spades, etc.) are a helpful way to encourage kids to join in the fun
  2. Start from seed. A small packet of seeds can blossom into a whole range of interesting fruits and vegetables.
  3. Choose plants that are easy to grow. Sunflowers, squash, tomatoes, and lettuce are just a few plants that can produce a delicious edible harvest that goes from garden to table.
  4. Add wildlife to their experience. Bird baths, bird feeders, small ponds for fish can have a positive impact on a child’s gardening experience.
  5. Make things and decorate your garden. Get crafty with the kids and recycle, repurpose and remake things that can serve as decorations in the garden.

Gardening can be an experience for life, and one of the lessons it teaches children is that there is a season for everything and that it all cycles again. So go ahead and encourage kids to dig in.  And let me know what bounty you harvest.

Valeria Galarza is Senior Project Manager at Cooper’s Ferry Partnership where she leads the Get Healthy Camden Initiative. She also serves as Project Manager for New Jersey Partnership for Healthy Kids-Camden.

SHARE: Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail