Nutrition Education Programs Should Be Encouraged At Every Stage Of The Life Cycle

1669 WordsApr 11, 20157 Pages
Considering the well-recognized benefits of eating fruits and vegetables, it is perhaps a given that consumption of these foods should be encouraged at every stage of the life cycle. Because many health-related lifestyle habits are established during childhood, the school food environment appears to be a prime area of focus for this effort. However, despite the importance of establishing healthy eating habits in these environments, studies have shown that intake of fruits and vegetables is especially low among children (Guenther, Dodd, Reedy, & Krebs-Smith, 2006). A variety of strategies have been and continue to be used to increase childhood fruit and vegetable consumption in schools throughout the United States (and throughout the world, for that matter), but one particularly novel and promising approach is the use of comprehensive school garden programs. These nutrition education programs can get kids involved in both growing and cooking their own food (Heim, Stange, & Ireland, 2009; Hume, Wetten, Feeney, Taylor, O-Dea, & Brimblecombe, 2014). This remains an area in need of further research, but results from current studies show significant potential in school garden programs. Most school garden programs are composed of at least two major components. The first component is the planning, development, and maintenance of an actual garden, usually somewhere on school property or in a nearby community garden (“School Garden Checklist,” 2015). These gardens can serve several

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