Why does cooking and gardening with kids matter?
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Here is some data…
“Cooking with Kids increased fruit and vegetable preferences, especially with vegetables. Greatest gains in preferences and self-efficacy were seen in boys without prior cooking experience. For fourth graders, experiential nutrition education improved cognitive behaviors that may mediate healthful food choices.”
Article about USDA funded research, March 2014
Gardening with children provides numerous opportunities for hands-on learning, inquiry, observation, and experimentation. Gardening also helps children build an understanding of and respect for nature and our environment. When children participate in growing edible plants, they are more motivated to taste, eat, and enjoy fruits and vegetables.
Natural Learning Initiative, NC State University
Garden-based nutrition education programs can increase fruit and vegetable exposure and improve predictors of fruit and vegetable intake through experiential learning activities. Participation in the “seed to table” experience of eating may help promote healthful eating behaviors among youth. Food and nutrition professionals should consider garden-based nutrition education programs that connect children with healthful foods through fun, hands-on activities.
Journal of the American Dietetic Association, July 2009
While there is now a great deal of evidence demonstrating the health benefits of eating fruit and vegetables, much less progress has been made in developing effective means of ensuring that people consume enough of these foods. In a paper investigating a new school-based programme designed to increase fruit and vegetable consumption in children, Lowe et al (2004), have reviewed research findings in this domain, and they have identified three factors that reliably influence children’s eating behaviours. These are taste exposure, modelling and rewards.
European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, July 2004