Increasing vegetable consumption is important in Nepal, where only 42% of the boys and girls 6-9 years old are estimated to receive the minimum diversity of foods needed for a healthy diet.
In 2019, the country will establish 2,300 school gardens in 33 provinces to teach children about the importance of nutrition and healthy diets.
The combined effect of school gardens linked to complementary lessons and promotional activities on the eating behavior and nutritional status of 9- to 15-year-old schoolchildren in Bhutan was studied. Data from 468 schoolchildren in 9 control and 9 treatment schools was collected following a randomized controlled trial design. We found that the school gardening intervention significantly increased children’s awareness about vegetables, their knowledge about sustainable agriculture, and their preferences for healthier foods. There was an 11.7-percentage point increase in the probability that children included vegetables in their meals (p < 0.05), but not in the number of different fruits or vegetables consumed.
This study evaluates the combined impact of school gardens linked to complementary lessons and promotional activities about gardening and nutrition on the nutritional awareness, knowledge, perceptions, eating behaviour and nutritional status of 10- to 15-year-old schoolchildren in Nepal. After one year of intervention, we found a significant (p < 0.01) increase in children’s awareness about fruit and vegetables, their knowledge about sustainable agriculture, their knowledge about food, nutrition and health and their stated preferences for eating fruit and vegetables. However, these improvements in intermediary outcomes did not translate into significant improvements in fruit and vegetable consumption or nutritional status.
Curious about the safety of the local food supply, four young women from Bishop Henry Gogarty Memorial Girls Secondary School in Tanzania decided to investigate the benefits of growing their own vegetable gardens.
Enjoy these great photos from Bhutan teachers Tashi Tenzin, Choki Gyeltshen, Tendel Tshering, and Bartsham Karma Rinzin. Their schools are participating in the Vegetables Go to School project, funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.
Can school vegetable gardens improve children's nutrition and also encourage their parents and the community to consume more vegetables?
School gardens are growing strong in Indonesia.