Vegetable gardening encourages healthy food choices in children

The vegetable garden is not only a spiritual teacher, but also good for health! God consciously placed man in Paradise WITH an order to work and not in Disney World. In a previous blog, we discussed learning through play. It showed that when multiple senses are activated we up to four times better information to remember. From that knowledge, vegetable gardening fits very well as a form of education and it also has a number of other important Pluses.

In this article we zoom in on the benefits of working in the vegetable garden during the child service. They can be subdivided into health benefits and learning in a practical environment.

Healthy for the body

It may not be so obvious to think that vegetable gardening is healthy for the children's body. The health benefit lies in the fact that children learn to appreciate fruit and vegetables and start eating more. See the article in the Volkskrant. The photo illustrates how eating fruit is fun for the kids. 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 and eat as many raspberries as possible.

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 can no longer stop eating. Brussels sprouts also taste good when you have planted, picked and prepared them yourself with a delicious recipe.

Research (and personal experience) shows that the children also continue this behavior at home. When there are fruits, vegetables and sweets on the table, children are more likely to choose fruits and vegetables than sweets because they know it is tasty and healthy. That is pure benefit 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 creates a vitamin and mineral deficiency and a surplus of fats, sugars and carbohydrates. This results in all kinds of health complaints.

The following health problems in children are a direct result of their unhealthy diet: overweight, diabetes, muscle weakness, bad teeth, etc. 80% of the children do not change their menu when they grow up, which greatly increases the health risks. Read more about this >>>

Paradise or Disney World?

Often at Paradise we envision the image of Disney World. A place of entertainment and all goodies. Because we think Adam and Eve didn't have to work. That everywhere the fruit hung 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 his behalf. And they had to work hard, why else did God immediately give the Sabbath (a day of rest)? And apparently the work in Paradise was perfect for man. It fulfilled him.

TIPS: 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 SUSTAINABILITY and a witnessing lifestyle.

Vegetable gardening combined with the lessons gives children a view of 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.

Get started with gardening in the children's service or at school? Find more information here: it vegetable garden lesson package.

Get started at home

At home you can also get down to work with your child on sowing a single sugar pea. On the next page you will find all the information you need to connect the miracle of nature with lessons from the Bible together with your child. >>>>

The lessons of Out and about!

The lessons of Er out! are constructed in such a way that they integrate as many of these elements as possible. Want to know more about how Er's lessons go! are constructed, click here.

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