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Growing Healthy Lunches With School Gardens

By Jennifer Kongs

Parents, teachers and nutritionists alike have long advocated for healthier school lunches. While providing fresh vegetables for the school lunch program, school gardens are also part of a growing green school trend focused on making more sustainable schools. The Green School Initiative notes, “Many schools around the world have planted edible gardens that they use to grow vegetables, fruits, herbs, and flowers. The students plant the gardens and then raise, harvest, and eat the crops, improving their nutrition, their knowledge about plant growth, and their patience.”

Growing a school garden can provide the raw materials to inspire new lunch ideas for kids, as well as tools for great hands-on learning experiences. This direct interaction even makes it more likely for kids to try new vegetables, so the healthier school lunches will be enjoyed and eaten by the students. The principal at Abernathy, an Oregon grade school with a cafeteria garden program, says, “When they [the students] have picked the Swiss chard from the garden and they’ve done some cooking with it in the cooking classroom, they are more willing to try it when it shows up as chard pesto in the cafeteria, because it’s not something strange and green. It’s something they know about.”

Read the original article at: Mother Earth News

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