Vegetable gardening encourages 'healthy' choices

In the previous newsletter we focused on learning by playing. It emerged that when multiple senses are activated we come to four times better information to remember. From that knowledge, vegetable gardening fits very well as a form of education and has a number of other important PLUSS. In addition to being a spiritual teacher, the vegetable garden is also good for your health! God consciously placed man in Paradise WITH an assignment to work and not in Disney World.

In the previous article, we discussed in-depth learning through play. In this article we zoom in on the extra PLUSEN from working with the vegetable garden. They can be subdivided into health benefits and learning in a practical environment.

Healthy for the body

It may not be obvious to think that vegetable gardening is healthy for the body of the children. The health benefit lies in the fact that children learn to appreciate fruit and vegetables and start eating more. The photo illustrates how eating fruit is fun for the children. When they arrive at the vegetable garden they run to the raspberry bushes to discover the delicious sweets. They naturally encourage each other to find as many raspberries as possible and eat them. The same applies to vegetables. Cress, cherry tomatoes, snack cucumbers and radishes are consumed immediately. Once the children have discovered that they are tasty, they cannot be stopped eating. Brussels sprouts are also delicious if you have planted them yourself, picked them and prepared them with a delicious recipe. Research (and own experience) shows that the children also continue this behavior at home. When fruit, vegetables and sweets are on the table, children are more likely to opt for fruits and vegetables than for sweets, because they know it is tasty and healthy. That is pure profit for the health of the children, now and in the future.

Facts about healthy eating:
From children up to 4, 50% eat enough fruit and vegetables.
Of the children between 5-9 years, approximately 40% eat the recommended amount.
Of the children between 9-12 years, only 20% eat enough fruit and vegetables. Numbers from the Health Interview Survey / Lifestyle Monitor
The percentage is even more extreme for adults. Only 5 to 10% eat the recommended amount of 2 pieces of fruit (200 grams) and 200 grams of vegetables per day. A menu with sufficient fruit and vegetables has a preventive effect on cancer, heart disease and many other diseases.
Someone who does not eat enough fruit and vegetables compensates for this with less healthy food. This results in a vitamin and mineral deficiency and a surplus of fats, sugars and carbohydrates. This results in all kinds of health problems. The following health problems in children are a direct consequence of their unhealthy diet: obesity, diabetes, muscle weakness, bad teeth, etc. 80% of children do not change their menu when they reach adulthood, which greatly increases their health risks. Read more about this >>>

Paradise or Disney World?

At Paradise we often have the image of Disney World in mind. A place of just entertainment and all goodies. Because we think Adam and Eve didn't have to work. That the fruit hung everywhere at eye level and that everything was pais and free. The latter was true, but even then obedience was needed. And was it really true that Adam and Eve did not have to work, that their lives were empty? Certainly not. God immediately gave them a destination. They ruled creation on behalf of Him. And they had to work hard, why else did God give the Sabbath right away, a day of rest? And apparently the work in Paradise was right for man. It fulfilled him.

Benefits of working in a practical environment

Working in the vegetable garden also fulfills the universal needs of children / people
- Equivalence: All children can participate at their own level. There is no yardstick that must be met. And whether you mow, sow or harvest, you participate for 100% in the entire process.
- Sharing makes you rich: They often see the harvest as their own and when they give it away they sometimes feel it as a sacrifice. However, they also experience the blessing of encouraged people who receive the vegetables. The pain of the sacrifice is only temporary, the blessing of sharing they carry throughout their lives in their hearts. God is good!
Being part of a larger whole: The children get with this a more meaningful role within the household of God. Not only in the receiving sense, but also in a giving sense.
Celebrate: Celebrating God's festivals through harvest festivals gives children a positive experience of how God wants to take care of them. He is not a bogeyman, but correct the giver of all good things in life.

In addition to these benefits, there are the following aspects:
- Many similarities and stories come to life.
- The vegetable garden offers a natural connection between young and old in the community.
- Last but not least DURABILITY and a witnessing lifestyle. Gardening in combination with the lessons gives children insight into how God wants us to deal with His creation. They thereby develop a witnessing lifestyle because their actions correspond to the principles that can be found in God's Word.

We can therefore safely conclude that vegetable gardening in dependence on God is good for body and soul.

The lessons of Out and about!

The lessons of Out and about! are constructed in such a way that they integrate as many of these elements as possible. Every lesson starts with a game that contains a competitive and collaborative element, combined with movement and a knowledge component. Then comes the Bible time. It ends with creative processing. During the vegetable garden season there is the possibility to use the vegetable garden lessons, from March to September.

The lessons go through the Bible in a chronological way, so that the children gradually understand the whole story of the Bible.

Explore the homepage how we take the children into discovery learning. Look at photo carousel and the practice video.

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