Does your child’s school have an active working garden?
Research is repeatedly showing how critical school gardens are to your child’s health and overall educational experience. Not only will your child learn science and math… which is great for his/her brain, but your child will also reap the benefits of fresh air, exercise, and exposure to direct sun light! Not to mention, there will be good fruits and veggies to consume!
Here are 5 extraordinary benefits of having a school garden:
1. Help increase Vitamin D levels. With reduced recess and lack of outdoor play, children’s Vitamin D levels are falling across the board. One of the best and free sources of Vitamin D is… the SUN! And Vitamin D is turning out to be a potent cancer fighter. Actively engaging in the school garden for 20 minutes is a great way for your child to get that much needed Vitamin D!
2. Increase the new-age Vitamin “G” – green space. In a recent published article for the National Recreation and Park Association, Dr. Francis Kuo of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, “found that children with ADHD who went for 20-minute walks in park settings performed as well on concentration tests afterwards as children who received common ADHD medications.” Outstanding!
3. Seasonal, local, organic and whole (SLOW). There is no denying the research behind SLOW foods and their superior nutritional benefits over packaged, processed, cooked foods. “Studies have shown that fresh produce loses nutrients quickly during transportation. During the trip from harvest to dinner table, sugars turn to starches, plant cells shrink, and produce loses its vitality.” Eating fresh from the garden preserves more the vital nutrients, which helps build healthy cells in your child’s body.
4. Children like to eat what they grow! There is nothing quite like putting a seed in the ground, watching those first two leaves sprout up and eventually seeing the results of tender love and care of a plant that grows and blooms. Curiosity is an inherent facet of all children… and they are far more likely to be more curious and taste a fruit of vegetable they helped grow.
5. Gardening is physical exercise! Planting, composting, weeding and watering all take physical effort. With fewer and fewer minutes of playground time and less outdoor activities by children in general, the incorporation of a school garden can extent children’s physical activity during any given school day.