Initiative Description: Participants were assigned to one of 3 groups: (1) nutrition education and gardening (NE+G) treatment group, (2) nutrition education only (NE) treatment group, or (3) control group (CG). These students planted both seeds and plants (carrots, broccoli, spinach, and cabbage) and maintained a school garden (watering, weeding, pest management) with adult supervision. Students engaged in gardening successes by watching the emergence of the first head of broccoli, as well as gardening challenges such as dealing with the rabbits that ate most of the lettuce one evening. In the latter stages of the intervention, students prepared Party Confetti Salad from the produce they had grown.
Both treatment groups received classroom instruction, and the NE+G group also received a school gardening experience.
Study Results: Improvements in nutrition knowledge and taste ratings. Increased vegetable consumption.
Reference: Parmer, S.M., Salisbury-Glennon J., Shannon D. (2009). School gardens: An experiential learning approach for a nutrition education program to increase fruit and vegetable knowledge, preference, and consumption among second grade students. Journal of Nutrition Education Behavior 41, 212–217.
Level of Evidence: Very Good