Gardening and Cooking Curriculum
The K-State Center for Child Development has adopted a year-round gardening and nutrition curriculum called My Garden My Plate.The goal of the curriculum is to help pre-school aged children enjoy a variety of healthful foods, learn about new foods in a fun and exciting way, learn table manners and learn where food comes from and how it is grown or made.
What Do Youth Learn From Participating In Gardening and Cooking Activities?
Food preparation gives children a chance to practice eye hand coordination in activities such as measuring and mixing. Eye-hand coordination is important in learning to read and write.
Food Safety Awareness
Children can develop good health (hygienic) practices from their association with good food handling practices. Children learn to wash hands before handling food.
Simple ideas about quantity are learned in cooking activities.
By learning which foods are important for growth, strength, and energy, children may make better food choices. Children can learn to eat many different kinds of foods to keep their bodies healthy.
Gardening and cooking are science experiments you can eat. Children see foods grow from seeds, harvest them and then watch them change color and texture when cooked.
Emotional &Social Development
Helping prepare food makes children feel that they are important and provides confidence. Tasting food shows children that people have different likes and dislikes.
By working with food, children can learn new words and concepts such as stir, blend, slice, grind, freeze, and melt. Children really learn the concept of stirring or slicing when they do the task during a cooking activity.
Because activities and recipes need to be completed in a specific order, children learn the idea of sequences. Picture recipes introduce the concept of order and pre-reading skills.
Children learn a healthy respect for appliances and utensils.
For more information about gardening and nutrition with children at home, please visit these websites: