With the increased emphasis on healthy eating, school allotments are becoming more popular. Getting children involved in growing fruit and vegetables gives them an understanding of where their food comes from. It’s an exciting way for them to combine this with the school kitchen, so that they can plant, grow and eat their own food.
Many of the fruit and vegetables available at the supermarket have been intensively sprayed with chemicals to keep them looking good for sale and to extend their shelf life. Many are grown knowing they’re in high demand, so in some cases taste is sacrificed for shelf life. For example, some fruit and vegetables are harvested before they are ripe, to enable them to travel long distances between field and shop.
‘Grow your own’ fruit and veg is healthier and has more flavour than most shop bought vegetables and can be easily grown within a school garden or allotment, also meaning that the school kitchen has easy access to fresh produce every day!
Children who are growing their own fruit and vegetables will see the connection between plant and plate much more clearly, and are more likely to try new flavours, feel a better connection to their food and choose healthier options.
Introducing a school gardening schedule can open the eyes of children to food production and help them to understand the principle of healthy eating. Children of today are going to be making the choices of what they eat as adults and for their own children. By instilling the healthy lifestyle in them at a young age, it will guide them to making better decisions in the future.
See below our seasonal fruit and veg resource to help with getting your allotment started!