Healthy Notions presents their new "Grow Lean and Green" program...a childhood obesity prevention initiative that encourages education, healthy eating, and physical activity.
Nearly 40% of Georgia children are overweight or obese--the second highest rate in the nation. In addition to raising awareness, Healthy Notions provides positive solutions that encourage children and families to develop lifelong healthy habits through nutritional food choices, physical activity and artistic expression.
During the "Grow Lean and Green" program, children play in the dirt again as they prepare the soil and plant seeds for successful harvest of tasty vegetables and fruit.
Along with the fun of getting dirty, gardening helps children learn valuable lessons about patience as they wait for vegetables to grow, responsibility as they see how necessary their care is to the garden, and even loss when plants die at the end of a season. "They learn about nurturing a life and what it takes to keep something alive," says Amy Gifford, an education associate for the National Gardening Association. Gifford extols the value of exercise as children physically work in the garden, learn to work together and share, and that gardening helps build a child's senses.
Over time, the children monitor and nurture the plants throughout the growth process, learn the health benefits and explore a variety of ways to prepare and consume their harvest.
At the end of each program, the children's taste buds are led on a journey of creative, culinary fun as they prepare a meal with a chef and share information that they learned throughout the program.