Correlation between school gardens and nutrition education for middle school students
Is there a correlation between school gardens and nutrition education for middle school students? Many students rely on school lunches to avoid going hungry throughout the day. There are specific standards that schools must meet when providing lunch to students, but are these students actually benefitting from these regulations? By implementing a school garden, students would learn how to grow their own foods and vegetables, be introduced to new foods, and learn the benefits of different foods on their body and health in an interactive way. The schools could then incorporate the foods grown in the garden into the lunches that are prepared for the students in the cafeteria. Evidence shows that having more access to fruits and vegetables increases the amount consumed. It may also improve better eating habits and may change the way students feel about healthy foods. Research also shows that there is a lot of waste from school lunches. This waste could be from students not liking the food provided but are required to get, depending on the program they are enrolled in. The different programs, free or reduced price lunch, require students to get certain foods and students may not normally eat those foods at home or may have never been introduced to those foods before, thus creating a lot of wasted food. This waste could possibly be reduced by providing students with proper nutrition education and by interacting with new foods through a school garden.