By Marian Burros
Not just school gardens, but requisite classes in nutrition — both produce food-smart kids, writes Marian Burros.
It’s true! What Michelle Obama has been saying at the White House garden—and everywhere else—for the last year and a half: Connecting kids and gardens increases their appreciation for fruits and vegetables. But planting the school garden is just the first step.
A three-year study done at the University of California–Berkeley shows that when schools teach some classes in the school’s garden and kitchen, and offer healthy fare in their cafeterias, it has a very clear and positive impact on kids’ diets. And on their attitudes towards food: Kids not only eat more fruits and vegetables, they know more about nutrition.
Alice Waters, famed food and cookbook author, and executive chef/founder of the Chez Panisse restaurant in Berkeley, whose Chez Panisse Foundation commissioned the study, thinks the results have come at the right moment. “People are looking for validation of all these things we always felt to be true,” she says. “Had it come out three years ago I don’t know if it could have the effect it is having right now. This is the right timing.”
Read the full details at Rodale Institute