Inspiring school food programs

Here are some inspiring results from an new evaluation of Australian school cooking and gardening programs:

– Teachers and parents reported improvements in students’ social behaviours, with 86% of teachers reporting improvements in students’ teamwork skills and 50% of parents reporting improvements across a range of student behaviours, including modifying previous bullying behaviour, managing difficult behaviour, interacting with people of many ages, leadership skill development and sense of pride in the school.

– 97% of teachers responded positively to how the Program supported classroom learning. They reported that students found the hands-on activities engaging and it aided learning across other subject areas, commenting that the Program ‘forms an intrinsic part of our students’ learning’.

– Students in Kitchen Garden National Program schools were more likely to report that they would always try new foods as compared to students in comparison schools. The proportion was higher if the students had grown or cooked the foods themselves.

– More children are taking up cooking at home and starting backyard veggie gardens after participating in the Kitchen Garden National Program.

There is a press release and the full report linked below if you’re interested in reading more. ¬†Happy planting, harvesting, and cooking!

http://www.kitchengardenfoundation.org.au/news/news-item/168/proof-the-kitchen-garden-program-works

http://ahsri.uow.edu.au/content/groups/public/@web/@chsd/documents/doc/uow145163.pdf