One of the best ways to motivate kids to eat more vegetables and some fruits and to cut back on sweet drinks is to help start an edible school garden project in your local schools. Check out the website about the Edible Schoolyard Network. Planting edible gardens is one way to motivate students to eat healthier foods at school and take the idea home with them. Vegetables can be grown indoors during winter in a classroom turned into a green house and used for other projects as well such as classroom kitchens or botany projects focusing on growing edible plants that are easy to grow for kids, can land up in the school cafeteria, and can be served, washed and clean, to children in salads.
When boys are involved in gardening using “man-tools” to till the soil and plant the root or other vegetables and the leafy greens, they won’t focus on teasing from other boys that eating vegetables is too girlish. See the article, “Getting male children to eat more vegetables and fruits.”
Numerous articles have appeared in major publications such as Meat, morals, and masculinity, Real men must eat meat say women as they turn their noses up at vegetarians and People Think of Vegetarians as Less Manly. “We examined whether people in Western cultures have a metaphoric link between meat and men,” write authors Paul Rozin (University of Pennsylvania), Julia M. Hormes (Louisiana State University), Myles S. Faith (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill), and Brian Wansink (Cornell University), according to the news release.
The answer, they found, was a strong connection between eating meat—especially muscle meat, like steak—and masculinity. Meat is associated more with masculinity because of the strength, bravery, hunting in groups, and teamwork required to bring down a beast for food.
If you want to increase the amount of fresh vegetables and fruits your child eats, cut up the vegetables and fruits into small pieces a child’s mouth and child’s fingers can easily handle. And let the child see you and any relatives or guests eating the food. Dice and slice that fresh produce or vegetable and fruit finger food. And make chunks of vegetables small enough in a soup or stew that the child can easily manage in a small mouth with tiny teeth.
Edible schoolyards nationwide can be your next project
Edible schoolyards can come to your part of the country at any time if you connect with others working nationally with edible school gardens/schoolyards projects you can research online. For example, check out the article, Stuart Leavenworth: Alice Waters eyes Sacramento for next edible schoolyard project. In today’s Sacramento Bee, an article by Anne Gonzales, “Manager reviews chef’s ‘Edible Sac High’ project,” you see how renowned Berkeley, California chef, Alice Waters wanted to take her concept of edible schoolyards, planting vegetables in school lawn areas to the rest of the country. The beneficiary now is a school in the Oak Park area of Sacramento.
Just a few months ago, the Edible Schoolyard Project began at Sacramento Charter High School, modeled after the edible school garden built 16 years ago in Berkeley by Alice Waters. After grants, fundraising, and donations came in, Mayor Kevin Johnson’s Greenwise clean-technology initiative coordinates the program.
Kids can grow vegetables indoors or outside, under lights or in green house classrooms
The garden involves about 100 students building and running the edible garden at the Oak Park school, where eventually not only a vegetable garden will bloom, but students also will run a campus cafeteria serving vegetables grown in the garden, preparing food, and taking cooking classes which will give the students additional job skills after high school.
The project is called Edible Sac High. Right now, Sacramento High School is the only “edible schoolyard” program for a high school across the nation. It’s a pilot program for other high schools nationwide. There’s even a full-scale working kitchen classroom.
Will chefs and food manufacturers ever reduce the amount of excess salt put in processed foods for taste?
There’s too much salt being added to processed foods. On top of that conclusion by scientists, there are also too many antibiotics being fed to cattle and other animals such as certain types of poultry that people consume. See, Unchecked antibiotic use in animals may affect global human health. Meanwhile in a new study from the American Heart Association, researchers found that less sodium in the U.S. diet could save 280,000 to 500,000 lives over 10 years, according to new research in the American Heart Association journal Hypertension.
Also see the results of another study, “High blood pressure during pregnancy may signal later heart disease risk.” Women who have high blood pressure during pregnancy may later face higher risk of developing heart disease, chronic kidney disease, and diabetes. Healthcare providers should monitor these women’s long-term for risk factors and be prepared to treat heart issues, according to the National Institutes of Health. The question is whether a change of diet, lifestyle, and exercise can be of help?