Jamie Oliver & the Food Revolution.....
I don't know how many of you have been watching Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution on TV this season but I watched an episode on hulu.com and was amazed that he would actually be told he couldn't go into the schools, the kitchens, talk to the employees or students about nutrition! Do people really care about the almighty dollar so much that they don't care about our children's health and nutrition? Amazing & very sad!
I understand that LA feeds THOUSANDS of meals each day and it's expensive and harder to provide healthy meals. I understand that fruit is going to run out (maybe it's time to bring in MORE fruit?) - but why not have the kids help plant a garden and have everyone volunteer (mandatory if necessary) to help care for that garden? If parents can be expected and told it's mandatory to volunteer their time in their children's classes - there is absolutely no reason that gardening and mentoring our children shouldn't be included as an option to volunteering in the classroom. If everyone donates 15 minutes each week to working in the garden they would be able to provide all the fresh fruits & veggies needed for the year.
Follow Jamie's efforts: Website Facebook Twitter
Some ideas for bringing nutrition into the schools:
1) Mandatory parenting classes - why not include simple health and nutrition tips that all parents can use? Include contacts for groups, churches, food banks, Angel Food Ministry programs for inexpensive ways to bring in nutritious food.
2)3) Use this time to teach basic math/science skills: Teachers & a parent group can use the garden to teach basic math skills in the garden! This wonderful resource includes activities for everyone 5 years old to adults, there are math & science activities (such as graphing, measuring, soil/water information, harvesting activities, (Examples here of the chart). You'll also find things like a Data Snacks Activity, Hand Spans Activity and more!
Community Gardens: Why not provide space in abandoned lots, unused areas of school grounds, parks for ? Food grown on school grounds should be donated to the school kitchens in exchange for rent - students can donate 1/2 hour each day to weeding, planting, gathering and watering the gardens. Community Gardens
WHAT IS A
? COMMUNITY GARDEN
Community gardens can by urban, suburban or rural. You can grow flowers, veggies, or fruit. This can be one big community garden (ideal for churches or schools) or many individual plots rented by families (you can rent for $ or it can be one big garden and produce can be donated to the food bank, an area school or the local city missions).
Did you know?
A community garden:
· Improves the quality of life for people in your community
· Stimulates Social Interaction
· Encourages Self-Reliance
· Beautifies the neighborhood
· Produces Nutritious Food
· Reduces Your Family Budget
· Conserves Resources
· Creates opportunities for recreation, exercise, therapy and education
· Reduces Crime
· Preserves Green Space
· Creates Income Opportunities and Economic Development
I found this chart on the American Community Gardens Association website and it also mentioned that it “Reduces City Heat from Streets and Parking Lots”. That’s NEW to me!
Don't know of a community garden in YOUR area? Check out this handy tool!
Articles you WILL find interesting:
- Program Spotlight: Math in the Garden by Sarah Pounders
- Integrating Gardening into Curriculum
- Math In the Garden experience at University of California's Botanical Gardens