Letting kids help in the garden may promote lifelong healthy eating habits. Researchers surveyed over 1,300 college students and found that students who gardened as a child and continue to do so ate 2.9 cups of fruits and vegetables daily—about a half a cup more than their peers who never gardened.
Lead author Dr. Anne Mathews adds, “We found that if your parents gardened but you did not, just watching them did not make a difference in how much fruits and vegetables you eat in college. Hands-on experience seems to matter.” The authors suggest that schools offer gardening lessons to expose young children to the activity, which may encourage students to maintain healthy eating habits later in life.
Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, September 2016