Teachers growing nutritious habits with a school garden

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Getting kids to eat their vegetables can be a little tricky. However, Cedarcrest-Southmoor Elementary School has figured out how to get kids to actually get excited about veggies.

Thanks to a grant from the American Heart Association, the school has built a teaching garden. Each class has a garden to plant fruits and veggies. The kids are charged with planting, watering and harvesting. Teachers say it's a great way to teach about science and good nutrition because the kids become excited to watch the plants grow and change.

"They are fascinated," said teacher Jaret Guidry. "Every day they come out here, it's completely different. You come out on Tuesday and see a plant looking one way and you come out on Wednesday and it's a whole new plant."

The American Heart Association's Teaching Garden program plants the idea of healthy eating at an early age, hopefully making it easier for kids to stay healthy as they grow and avoid health problems like obesity and heart disease.

"One of the ways to fight that or combat that is through good nutrition," said Linzy Cotaya with the American Heart Association. "So, with the teaching garden program on teaching kids what to eat, how to eat and that impacts their daily diet."

"We are a high poverty population. This isn't something that they could necessarily have in their backyard is a garden like this. So, it's nice for them to see it," Guidry explained.

For the kids, the garden is just fun. One class has a pet guinea pig and even experimented by testing out which leaves he preferred. When the vegetables are mature, the kids will get to harvest them and make a stew.

With the students excited to eat well and share what they've learned, both the teachers and the American Heart Association feel they will see the fruits of their labor in the form of life long healthy habits.

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