The Growing Healthy Habits curriculum aims to use gardening as a tool to teach about nutrition, and to encourage students to consume more fruits and vegetables, and increase physical activity. Each lesson unit includes educator handouts, lesson plans, a journal entry activity, and a taste testing.
- Pilot Tested
This curriculum has been used in Maryland since 2010. Since that time, more than 11,370 youth have participated in FSNE-supported programs using this curriculum. Through evaluation, it has been found that more than 50% of youth participating in this curriculum try one or more vegetables for the first time and that youth report an increased preference for 10 out of 16 vegetables tried in this program. Also, 3 out of 4 teachers report wide-reaching impacts of this program beyond the classroom, influencing changes in the cafeteria and school policies, as well as the eating habits of students both inside and outside of school.
This curriculum incorporates gardening information into its lessons, in combination with nutrition education. The nine lesson units discussed include:
- Lesson 1: What’s So Great About Gardening
- Lesson 2: Parts of the Plant We Eat
- Lesson 3: Feed the Soil
- Lesson 4: Variety: The Spice of Life
- Lesson 5: Plan Your Planting
- Lesson 6: Seed Magic
- Lesson 7: Keep it Growing
- Lesson 8: Healthy Harve$t
- Lesson 9: Garden Fitness (Bonus Unit)
Under the “State Curriculum Identifiers” table for lesson 1 (pg. 41) and lesson 5 (pg. 183), the older food guide, MyPyramid, is mentioned. However, in the actual lesson plans, MyPlate is discussed.
For more information on the University of Maryland's FSNE programming and outcome reports, please visit: http://extension.umd.edu/fsne/fsne-outcome-reports.