Abacoa Community Garden Helping Kids Become Healthy Eaters

Want to help your little one grow to be a healthy eater while also helping their brain development?  Then look no further than a simple vegetable garden.  Yes.  Growing food can be an important tool for encouraging children to eat a healthy and balanced diet.   As an added benefit, you may also be helping your child’s brain development.  The Abacoa Community garden offers an easy way to involve your kids in growing fresh produce, even if you don’t have a garden of your own.

Parents can get kids excited about eating healthy food by simply involving them in the process of growing fresh food, from start to finish.  The more kids get involved, the more likely they are to want to eat the food they helped to grow.  Kids that help to garden get excited and feel a sense of accomplishment from helping to create something.  

Several studies show that kids are more likely to eat fruits and vegetables if they help garden them.  For example, a Cornell study, published in Acta Paediatrica, shows that kids were four times more likely to eat a salad during school lunch if the salad simply incorporated vegetables that they grew in their school garden.  And on average, these students ate two-thirds of their salads.  Another study showed that children who participated in gardening projects scored higher in science achievement than those who did not. For one thing, participating in gardening can spark a child’s curiosity about natural sciences.  They may start to ask questions like, “why do plants need the sun to grow”.  Before you know it, your child may be asking about photosynthesis.  

In fact, there is a growing trend to incorporate vegetable gardens in schools.  And the results are encouraging.  A program called REAL School Gardens, which has built nearly 100 school gardens, says that schools which built growing gardens have seen a 12 to 15 percent increase in the number of students passing standardized tests.  

Kids may start to love gardening because they love to get their hands in the dirt.  But they will also love to watch the food they help to create, grow and get harvested.  They will love the colors and smells and most likely start wanting to taste what they grew.  Plus, the fruits and vegetables that your kids eat after harvesting will no doubt have plenty of healthy brain-building nutrients.

So come join the Abacoa Community Garden and bring your little one along.  The garden encompasses 12,000 sq. ft. And includes a children’s section, community plots where produce is grown and harvested by the community, individual plots, waist-high beds, a tower garden, a native garden, a butterfly garden, and fruit trees. We focus on sharing knowledge, building community, promoting healthy eating, and experiencing the joy of digging in the dirt.

The garden is located on 1022 Community Drive in Abacoa.  While the Garden is a club under the Abacoa POA, membership is not limited to Abacoa residents. 
Need more information? Contact Liz Peyton at lizpeyton@gmail.com or 914.319.5091