Pre-schoolers grow vegetable garden

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Teachers at the Alabama A&M child development center are inspiring these three, four and five year olds to become future farmers. Staffers started a vegetable garden in the spring through the Evens Allan grant program. This afforded them to buy the materials they needed like wagons, soil and seeds. Dr. Allison Parker Young with Consumer Family Sciences said the project helps to promote health, wellness and fitness. As well as childhood obesity.

"We're growing without any chemicals, any pesticides or things of that nature and to introduce it into their diet so hopefully it'll becomes a part of their life long healthy eating habits," said Dr. Young.

The children help maintain the garden by watering it once a day and picking the vegetables when they're ripe. Young said it's exciting to see them learn about healthy food.

"This is something that is new for them and at the age that they're at, they're exploring everything and so it's just a great time to introduce this into their learning experiences."

There's a variety of vegetables in the garden including corn, squash, sting beans, eggplant and more. Once it's picked, it's cooked in with their lunch. Dr. Young said that research shows if people grow their own food, then they're more likely to eat it.

Staffers are also trying to get the parents involved by holding workshops, so the kids can continue their learning experience at home. Young hopes to also expand the program outside the school by reaching out to other child development centers.

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