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When kids GROW food...they KNOW food!

When kids GROW food…they KNOW food!

By Nona Evans, Whole Kids Foundation
Photos courtesy of Whole Kids Foundation

Seems simple, right? Far too many kids today truly believe that food comes out of a box or can. 

When they discover the magic of a seed turning into something they can eat - it complete reframes their understanding of an appreciation for REAL food.

Whole Kids Foundation is a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to improving children’s nutrition. Founded in 2011, this group is passionate about making sure that kids have good food choices, and they are empowering schools and families to do just that.

Whole Kids has been supporting school gardens for the past four years. Through their experience and extensive research, we’ve learned that when a child grows an edible plant - they are more likely to eat not just what they have grown - but a list of more than a dozen other vegetables. So, you can see the power of a garden, even when it comes to picky eaters.

Whole Kids, through their annual grant program, has supported more than 3,000 school gardens. Gardens are an invaluable outdoor teaching tool for every subject in the common core. If a school in your community would like to apply for a $2,000 garden grant, the application window is open each year from September 1 through October 31.

And now Whole Kids has partnered with the green thumbs at GardenSMART and the retailing icon Bass Pro Shops to encourage more families to get growing. During Bass Pro Shops storewide “Grow A Pumpkin Patch” event, five schools will be chosen to receive a garden grant. This is a wonderful opportunity to spread the word and benefits of getting kids outdoors and in the garden.

No matter the space you have — from windowsill to acreage, when you grow food it can transform your family’s nutrition. Take leafy greens, for example. They are hearty and grow well across many zones. Some, like Swiss chard, are even used for decorative landscaping! Greens are THE most nutritious food you can eat. Whether you grow one type of lettuce in a pot on the patio or a whole row of arugula — you’ll be adding more nutrition to every meal. Toss those greens into a salad or even a smoothie. You can find lots of tips and inspiration at wholekidsfoundation.org.

And be sure to visit (even bring your kids or grandkids) Bass Pro Shops between October 24th and 31st. It will be an excellent opportunity to get everyone actively engaged in gardening. And the benefits are amazing.

Whole Kids has its roots in food as they were founded by Whole Foods Market, which has been dedicated to educating communities about healthy eating for 35 years.

Before
Whole Kids Foundation Educational Farm; Roswell, Georgia

 

After
Whole Kids Foundation Educational Farm; Roswell, Georgia

This beautiful farm was once a parking lot next to the Southern Whole Foods Market Regional Office. It is a 5-acre lot that has now be repurposed to be an educational farm.

Whole Kids Foundation Educational Farm; Roswell, Georgia

The Whole Kids Foundation Educational Farm’s Mission is to become a self-sustaining garden that provides experiential learning about food through an outdoor learning environment that supports the local community, including schools and neighborhood residents, while strengthening the presence of Whole Kids Foundation in the South Region.


Whole Kids Foundation Impact Map: Click here for the interactive version and to learn more!

 


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