Thanks to the generosity of the Walmart Foundation, Garden Bites, our nutrition and health curriculum for Learning Garden students, co-authored with our partner Common Threads, is back in schools across the country and our second year is already shaping up to be even bigger and better than the first! We are excited to be expanding the program into Indianapolis Public Schools this spring and we’re proud to have launched a new online portal, giving Garden Bites teachers direct and easy access to the materials they need to be successful.
Fall sign up has just begun and already 52 teachers have registered to teach the curriculum for this semester in Colorado, Chicago, and Memphis!
Garden Bites teachers see their students enthusiastically embrace the curriculum and increase their understanding of real food. Anne Cuddy of Chicago told us, “The kids love the program and absolutely enjoy the food… Some kids tasted their first red bell pepper, their first tomato, or their first cucumber!”
Garden Bites, developed in partnership with Common Threads, an industry leader in nutrition and health education and curriculum development, invites elementary and middle school students to dig in to real food through hands-on nutrition and health lessons. Participating students learn where real food comes from and understand how to prepare it through a variety of healthy recipes. Students are encouraged to explore and consume real food and are taught to recognize the difference between healthy food, or “Go foods,” sometimes foods, or “Slow foods,” and junk food, or “Whoa foods.”
“You could step into our classrooms and ask kids about Go, Slow, and Whoa and they would educate you like no other! Even at recess some show me their snack and tell me if it is a go or a slow,” said Rice Elementary School kindergarten teacher, Gretchen Lenzner.
Garden Bites enhances and deepens student’s knowledge of nutrition and health concepts by pairing nutrition and garden lessons. It includes 15 lessons that align with National Health Education Standards, Common Core State Standards, and Next Generation Science Standards and can be offered at any time during the school year.
Participating elementary and middle school teachers use the Garden Bites curriculum both in their classroom and in their school’s Learning Garden. The curriculum includes nutrition lessons, classroom cooking activities that utilize produce from the Learning Garden, and opportunities for students to set goals for their own personal health.
We are excited to see this program flourish and grow this year, and will be looking forward to sharing our progress.
A final, huge thanks to the Walmart Foundation for helping this curriculum reach so many students across the country.