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Finding ways to get kids to eat better - Edible Education reaches more students

September 14, 2016

La Semilla Food Center and its Edible Education program speak directly to the impact the Paso del Norte Health Foundation’s Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) initiative is having along the Las Cruces corridor.

That’s why La Semilla and the Paso del Norte Health Foundation have partnered to expand the popular Edible Education to up to eight schools in the Las Cruces and Gadsden school districts during the 2016-17 academic year.

“The goal of our Edible Education curriculum is to influence the preferences, attitudes, and eating behaviors of students in favor of healthier foods and enjoyable physical activity,” said Elizabeth Anihini, edible education program manager. “The curriculum integrates hands-on, experiential school garden activities, garden-based lessons and instructional materials, and classroom cooking activities. In our gardens and classroom kitchens we’re working to ensure that all children have access to the joyful, transformative power of growing, preparing, and enjoying fresh and healthy food.”

Teachers will be trained with the first Professional Development workshop for schools and teachers in September. “Almost all of the teachers who join our program are new to gardening, classroom cooking and nutrition education,” explained Anichini. “Our staff has received extensive training in Edible Education implementation through FoodCorps Inc., Edible School Yard, Slow Food USA, and others. ” As part of the program, each school will have installed garden vegetable beds ready to plant by January 2017.

La Semilla has worked with the Paso del Norte Health Foundation to advance HEAL objectives over the past four years. The current collaboration on Edible Education plans to increase the number of youth consuming five or more servings per day of fruits and vegetables.

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