American Heart Association Teaching Gardens

Updated:Oct 13,2016
Teaching Gardens Article pic

The American Heart Association is taking a fresh new approach in the fight against childhood obesity. We’re working with America’s schools to teach kids about healthy living through fun, hands-on Teaching Gardens.
We’ve teamed with noted child-nutrition activist Kelly Meyer to create American Heart Association Teaching Gardensreal-life learning laboratories where elementary school students across the country can learn what it truly means to be healthy.
We believe we can dramatically change the way America thinks about food and consumes it. And there are plenty of facts to back us up. For example, research indicates children who participate in school gardening programs have a greater chance of trying – and liking – fruits and vegetables.
How Do Teaching Gardens Work?
American Heart Association Teaching Gardens teach children in first through fifth grades how to plant seeds, nurture growing plants, harvest produce and ultimately understand the value of good eating habits.
Garden-themed lessons teach nutrition, math, science and other subjects – not to mention the fun of getting out in the fresh air and working with your hands. Throughout the program, students celebrate gardening milestones: planting day, harvesting and activities that involve the larger community. Of course, there are also plenty of healthy snacking opportunities.
Teaching Gardens are functional additions to schools. Every Teaching Garden can be as unique as the school community it serves. Each American Heart Association Teaching Garden, no matter the shape or location, has the potential to become an integrated part of the community and serve as a tool to explore the world and its possibilities.
Why School Gardening?
The program is designed to encourage healthy diets in young children and to help combat childhood obesity, which has reached epidemic proportions. Today, nearly one in three children and adolescents in the U.S. is overweight or obese.
American Heart Association Teaching Gardens make healthy foods fun, and they provide opportunities for children to try and enjoy healthy foods.
Teaching Gardens Qualifications
School administrators, teachers, parents and students can be assured a positive experience from the American Heart Association and Meyer.
The association offers credibility, scientific expertise and existing relationships across the country, including a nearly 40-year history as a leader in the field of nutrition, physical activity and obesity prevention. Meyer founded the Teaching Gardens program in 2010 because of her concerns about child obesity before working in partnership with the American Heart Association.

Watch our video to learn more about American Heart Association Teaching Gardens