SMILE Garden Beds: A Way to Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

The Problem

The students of SMILE Preschool, Inc. lack regular exposure to fresh fruits and vegetables because of their high price. Research shows that fresh fruits and vegetables are key components of a healthy diet and help ensure normal/lean body weight through adolescence into adulthood. For our student population, it is particularly important that they are exposed to healthy foods given that the majority of our students are African American, and, thus, at higher risk for obesity and type 2 diabetes than their peers who are Caucasian, Asian and Hispanic.

Plan of Action

We would like to purchase two raised garden beds from The Food Project to ensure students' regular access to fresh fruits and vegetables. By having gardens in-house, our cook will be able to incorporate fruits and vegetables into our preschoolers' meals. Of course, we understand that we need to introduce our young students to vegetables and fruits before we start serving them unfamiliar foods. Therefore, these garden beds will also serve as a means to introduce vegetables and fruits to our students as we anticipate having our students help plant, water, and maintain these garden beds. This is a particularly important component of the garden bed project given that research has shown that students' access to a garden increases students’ desire to consume fruits and vegetables.

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