Supporting Educators in Teaching Healthy Habits Through Gardening

This paper analyzes the factors contributing to the rise in childhood obesity, and how educators can use gardening as a tool to teach healthy habits to students. Childhood obesity rates have dramatically risen in the past thirty years. There are many factors contributing to this epidemic, but a review of literature revealed three main factors: food deserts and food swamps, quality and marketing of food in public schools, and children not meeting recommended physical activity minutes. After analyzing the factors contributing to childhood obesity, an online resource guide was created for educators to teach children healthy habits through a school garden. School gardens have many positive outcomes including academic, social and behavioral. Teachers should use the resource guide as a supplemental tool, in conjunction with other curriculum and a school garden. The goal is for students to gain a healthy understanding of nutrition and physical activity at a young age, so they can grow into healthy, active adults.