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Center for Child Development

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Center for Child Development
Kansas State University
1400 Jardine Drive
Manhattan, KS 66506

Contact us

Temporary Hours
due to COVID-19

8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Standard Hours
of Operation

7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

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?

Motor Skills

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.

Pre-Math Skills

Simple ideas about quantity are learned in cooking activities.

Nutrition Awareness

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.

Scientific Concepts

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.

Vocabulary Enrichment

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.

Sequencing/Pre-Reading Skills

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.

Safety Awareness

Children learn a healthy respect for appliances and utensils.

Learn more

For more information about gardening and nutrition with children at home, please visit these websites:

Kids Gardening

Let's Move!

Get Involved

If you would like to donate your time to helping us in our gardens please call us at 785-532-3700.