October is National Farm to School month and kids across the country are digging into garden projects, tasting new foods in the cafeteria, and practicing cooking skills in the classroom. This month is also a time to think about the theories behind farm to school activities.
Emily Jackson, director and founder of ASAP’s Growing Minds program, explains some of the larger goals behind farm to school learning. “Our whole Growing Minds philosophy is if you give enough positive experiences for children, children can be those changemakers that go home and affect the dynamics of the eating habits of the family,” she says.
When kids try new foods at school, they often tell their families about the experience when they get home. This can prompt a trip to the farmers market, or a new favorite meal made with fresh produce. Kids can learn new gardening skills in the classroom, and ask their families to start a garden in their own backyards.
Growing Minds program manager Jessica Sparks-Mussulin has seen it first-hand. “People often underestimate that kids are agents of change. These kids are going to go back to their families, whether it’s the gardening or the taste tests or the cooking, or the food served at the center, and they’re going to talk about it with their families. And that has an impact,” she says.
Learn more about how farm to school activities impact families, and find lesson plans to inspire local food education at home and at school at www.growing-minds.org
Aired: October 2, 2017