WATCH: Out of the classroom and into the garden

THE key to persuasion may lie in the veggie patch when it comes to getting young kids to develop their culinary curiosity.

Primary school students at Warwick's Glennie Heights State School have been mulching and pruning their way to healthy habits through the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden program.

The program aims to promote a healthy, sustainable relationship with food in kids from a young age.

Through the program, students plant and prune a variety of plants before harvesting their produce and preparing it in the kitchen.

Glennie Heights learning support teacher Kerry Sinclair said the hands-on nature of the program allowed children to succeed in the school environment.

 

PLENTY OF PLANT: Students from Glennie Heights all pitch in to improve healthy habits.
PLENTY OF PLANT: Students from Glennie Heights all pitch in to improve healthy habits. Marian Faa

"It doesn't matter where they are academically, they can all achieve success in the garden," she said.

Making zucchini noodles or "zoodles" was a highlight for Year 5 student Madilynn Thornton-Grimes.

She said she felt a sense of achievement watching the garden grow.

"They were really small and a month later they are really tall. It's always changing," she said.

Mrs Sinclair said growing produce from scratch encouraged students to try foods they might not otherwise consider.

"Just seeing the kids' excitement about eating vegetable and enjoying fresh food is the best thing about it," she said.

"What upsets me sometimes is seeing lunch boxes a full of processed food."

 

BIG THINGS GROW: The garden is flourishing with delicious produce that will eventually make its way into their little tummies.
BIG THINGS GROW: The garden is flourishing with delicious produce that will eventually make its way into their little tummies. Marian Faa

The program has been running for five years.

In that time, students have planted sweet potato, zucchini, snow peas, strawberries and a variety of different herbs.

Working together in the garden and kitchen brings out an impressive work ethic according to Mrs Sinclair.

"Some kids don't like to do stuff in class but this brings out such a helpful attitude and sense of co-operation," she said.

"When they get in the garden they are just so willing and helpful."



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