Educating children about the benefits of a proper diet is important. Eating healthy is very crucial part of their learning process in adolescent years. Setting up of kitchen gardens in schools can play a very crucial role in early childhood education. Learning to grow and maintain produce is a lifelong skill. Gardening can help develop a culture of empathy in children. It can also aid in their cognitive development.
Benefits of learning to garden
Essential for Children’s health
A good and balanced diet is always essential for overall development of a child. A good diet ensures that children acquire better learning abilities. It also ensures good physical growth right from their childhood. Setting up of kitchen gardens in schools is a push towards encouraging the children to start their own gardens at home. Children who eat well learn well.
Learning to be self- sufficient boosts confidence
Nothing is more rewarding than fruits of one’s own labour. When children are taught to nurture, grow and work in kitchen gardens; they can really enjoy the fruits of their own labour. It instils in them a sense of achievement. They become more confident in their skill. Taking small steps towards being self-sufficient also helps build a sustainable society. It is a form of schooling in nature.
Good for children’s well-being
Interacting with nature brings joy of discovering new elements. It also increases children’s curiosity about nature. While gardening young children can also practice locomotors skills. When they move from one place to another it enhances their body management skills and object control skills. Being outdoors also ensures that children get a lot of fresh air.
Good for Learning
School kitchen gardens are good for learning; it is a direct form of education; children can learn how to grow food which not only makes a way out for their livelihoods but also improves their self-sufficiency. Children learn to work in teams, build friendships and camaraderie while working in groups.
Smile Foundation Interventions
Based on the ideologies of gardening and its benefits, Smile Foundation’s Mission Education programme has executed a similar project in Siddharthnagar. The main purpose of this initiative was to make a way for a sustainable channel of nutritious foods within budget. It is the first among the 15 ME centres in Uttar Pradesh where the kitchen garden initiative has been taken up. Children under the supervision of teachers planted some seasonal yet nutritious vegetables.
Even though a lot of training and sensitization is required for many such initiatives to take place, proper guidance and enthusiasm can take the programme a long way and aid in childhood education.
To know more about Smile Foundation’s intervention in education and nutrition visit https://www.smilefoundationindia.org/plate-half-full/