Starting Young: School gardens and nutrition classes

kids prepare fresh salad

Learning nutrition is “hands-on” (quite literally) as students get involved in preparing nutritious foods.

students eat fresh salad

Students enjoy eating the fresh salads that they prepared as part of nutrition class.

Back in March, Border Partner’s gardeners and volunteer parents began building gardens at two elementary schools in Palomas: Ramon Espinoza and Ignacio Zaragoza. These schools share a facility and grounds but one student body meets there in the morning and a different one convenes there in the afternoon. After planting seeds with the children, each school now has four raised garden beds alongside each other–all growing summer crops in the hot sunshine.

The next step was to ensure the children would eat the vegetables they were growing. So, our gardeners began to get the children involved. They had the kids plant seeds in cups so they could take a plant home. They made a big salad with the kids so they could taste the veggies they were growing. And, they taught them about all the vitamins vegetables have that will make their bodies strong.

In her own words, Juana Flores, tells about the classes she’s teaching:

“The children in one of my classes are from ages 6-7 and in the other ages 9-10. I’m teaching them about the vitamins and minerals that fruits and vegetables have and how to enjoy the flavors of vegetables. Some children are not familiar with the vegetables that we’re growing. These vegetables are chard, spinach, lettuce, cauliflower, broccoli, radishes, tomatoes, cilantro and celery.”

She continues: “The vegetables the children like best are carrots, green chiles, lettuce, spinach, radishes, broccoli, lettuce and cucumber.”

“One day in the class, we prepared a big salad with chard, spinach, lettuce, carrot, green chile and cucumber. The lesson was about vitamins. The funny thing was that the children who said they didn’t like vegetables finished them all and wanted more. They learned that vegetables are very important, so they stay healthy and grow well.”

school gardens

Parent volunteers constructed the covered, raised bed gardens at the elementary schools.

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