Gov't Gives $1M To Study Preschool Gardening


Nearly $1 million of taxpayer money is going to a project that aims to create childcare regulations mandating fruit and vegetable gardening for preschoolers.

Let that thought take root.

The USDA has given $988,645 to the "Childcare Outdoors as Active Food System: Effectiveness of POD (preventing obesity by design) Gardening Component," project at North Carolina State University.

Among the projects listed goals:

Influence childcare regulations to include hands-on FV (fruit and vegetable) gardening as health promotion policy, potentially impacting regulated U.S. childcare centers.

Improve the health of vulnerable preschool children attending U.S. childcare centers by increasing physical activity (PA) and consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables.

The program kicked off June 1st and is seeking to operate at 15 childcare centers in North Carolina.

The projects approach includes "11 garden-related experiences with 12 types of designated summer FVs" for the pre-schoolers. Among the "garden-related" experiences are planting, weeding and harvesting.

The program kicked off June 1st and is seeking to operate at 15 childcare centers in North Carolina.

Pedometers will be used to measure the physical activity of the little gardeners.

When they're not physically active tending the garden, there are other garden related activities for the preschoolers to attend to.

"Garden-related classroom activity (drawings, models, dramatics, music and movement, story time, etc., directly connected to FV gardening), garden anecdotes (children) and home-related stories (children and adults)," according to the project description.

All of this is being done to fight obesity, measure the childrens' "fruit and vegetable liking" and "to develop and implement effective early care and education settings as a critical factor for influencing new policies and regulations with the potential for reducing barriers to good health for millions of vulnerable children attending childcare."

MRC Merch

MRC Merch