Tips / FAQ
Q: How does nutrition education affect students' views and eating habits?
A: Studies have shown that garden-enhanced nutrition education can significantly increase children’s consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables. As nutrition educators, we have observed many instances of shifts in students’ eating habits and views. They are often excited to try new fruits and vegetables, and go home and share this excitement with their families.
Q: What is Harvest of the Month?
A: Studies show that healthy eating and daily physical activity have a profound impact on the body and mind by improving the ability to learn and comprehend, boosting energy, improving school attendance and changing attitudes, behavior and more. Harvest of the Month provides materials and resources to support healthy food choices through increased access and consumption of fruits and vegetables as well as encourage daily physical activity. It uniquely supports core curricular areas through exploration and study. Harvest of the Month presents a strategic opportunity to bring together the classroom, cafeteria, home and community to promote a common goal and healthier habits for students, especially those in low resource schools (Source: http://www.harvestofthemonth.cdph.ca.gov/program-overview.asp).
Q: What are additional resources for garden and nutrition-related curriculum?
A: Here are some books about garden and nutrition-related curriculum:
- The Growing Classroom:
- Grades 2-6. This renowned teacher's manual features strategies for managing garden-based science instruction.
- Botany on Your Plate: Investigating the Plants We Eat:
- Grades K-4. An investigative science curriculum introduces the world of plants through foods we eat.
- Math in the Garden:
- Grades K-8. An engaging curriculum uses a mathematical lens to take children on an education-filled exploration of the garden.
- Suggestions for literature from Harvest of the Month
- A variety of books supporting knowledge on different fruits and vegetables.
- The TWIGS (Teams With Intergenerational Support) Gardening and Nutrition curriculum, developed locally, helps children learn about healthy food choices through a connection to gardening.
Q: Where can I find nutrition information on foods we eat every day?
A: Here are some good online resources to learn more about nutrition:
- Resources about My Plate from the USDA.
- Where to order CDE’s fruit and vegetable cards.
- Great info provided about many fruits and vegetables from the back of the CDE fruit and vegetable photo cards.
Q: What are some class room management techniques working with students in an outdoor/garden setting?
A: Some effective outdoor management strategies to use in school gardens are:
- Provide students with clear directions.
- Give members of the groups tasks.
- Divide the class into groups.
- Set up multiple independent stations.
- Establish special rules for outdoor learning.
- Reduce class size.
- Buddy up older and younger students.
Q: How can I learn more about creating a garden at my school site?
A: Here are some good online resources to support the creation of school gardens:
- California School Garden Network:
- Resources for garden educators. Information about school gardening projects.
- Life Lab:
- Life Lab is a national leader in farm- and garden-based education.
- Grow a Garden of Opportunity:
- General teacher resource with garden curricula related links.
- Kids Gardening:
- The National Gardening Association (NGA) provides K-12 plant based education materials.
Q: Are the Project EAT nutrition education lessons linked to common core standards?
A: Yes. The common core standards guided the creation of the nutrition education lessons. Garden based nutrition education lends well to project based learning, which is integral to the common core standards.