Start gardening with your kid now to increase produce consumption
Did you have a garden growing up? Was it your responsibility to take care of the garden, whether watering, pulling weeds, or picking the produce? If so, chances are you consume more fruits and vegetables than your peers who did not garden growing up.
“getFRUVED”, the acronym for the program, “Get Your Fruits and Vegetables”, is a collaboration among American universities and the US Department of Agriculture. Their goal? Setting out to get young kids involved in gardening as it helps increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables as young adults, ultimately creating healthier habits and lifestyles.
Health behavior and role modeling is such a powerful concept. In this case, simply watching the task was not as powerful as the full hands-on experience. Here, that equates to getting your hands in the dirt and observing an experiment right in front of your eyes as you watch crops grow. This precedents positive memories and associations with vegetable exposure that children take into their future. Actually, we know that there is a 25% increase of produce consumption in childhood through middle school just by gardening! Therefore, the case for school gardens and home gardens is stronger now than ever before.
The experiences and hard work learned from the garden is just as important as the turning of produce into an enjoyable meal. It is easy to get kids to love vegetables when they have the first-hand responsibility.
Feeling left out if you were the non-gardener growing up? Based on the work of getFRUVED, even high schoolers and college students who are currently interested in gardening can still reap the benefits. So, if you have a green thumb now, you are also more likely to endure lifelong habits of increased fruit and vegetable consumption now and into your future lifetime. Dig in!
Published October 2020