“In Sonoma County, 38% of low-income children, ages 2-11, and 44% of low-income teens, ages 12-19, are overweight or obese” (California Health Interview Survey, 2011).
In an effort to help create life-long lovers of delicious, healthy, locally grown foods, SGN developed Healthy Roots. Healthy Roots is a traveling nutrition education program for Sonoma County elementary school students that directly links what is being grown in school gardens with healthy eating.
Healthy Roots provides students with:
Hands-on experience preparing and eating fresh, whole foods
Increased knowledge & awareness of locally grown crops
Nutrition lessons and activities to build strong bodies and healthy habits
Opportunities to interact with their school garden in a meaningful way
SGN’s Nutrition Educator delivers three on-site nutrition and cooking classes throughout the school year for grades 3 through 6. Discussions revolve around the science of nutrition and how our bodies use nutrients, what types of food contain those nutrients and how to chose a diet that provides nutrients necessary for good health. Classes are held in the classroom or school garden and the program is designed to utilize the produce that the students have grown themselves, emphasizing the concept of farm to table and eating the freshest food possible. Students are involved in all aspects of the cooking process, learning skills and basic recipes that they can use at home. This connection to the home is critical as these students can continue healthy habits outside of school and help to inspire healthy eating among other family members.
The program gives preference to schools that have a high percentage of students in the free and reduced lunch program. Healthy Roots builds on existing school garden programs and the Nutrition Educator works closely with the garden coordinators, classroom teachers, and principals to incorporate nutrition education and cooking skills into the garden curriculum.
SGN is currently offering Healthy Roots to 5 schools for the 2017-2018 school year:
Cali Calmecac Language Academy, Windsor
Parkside Elementary, Sebastopol
Penngrove Elementary, Penngrove
R.L. Stevens Elementary, Santa Rosa
Valley Vista Elementary, Petaluma
“Healthy Roots lessons provided learners with a comprehensible knowledge base about healthy levels of nutrients and the skills needed for them to begin to make healthier choices for themselves and their families.” Kate McGerity, El Camino High School
To learn more about ways you can support the School Garden Network of Sonoma County, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.