By Amada Carrasquillo for SUST 210 online
How can parents have their children eat healthy? Perhaps by teaching as well as letting them be part of the process of how a vegetable is grown. A local elementary school in Arlington Heights, as reported here by the Daily Herald, had their students plant seeds in their school garden last winter, and this fall they were able to taste their work. Students were able to taste a butternut squash soup that included vegetables they had planted in their garden. They had so many vegetables grown in the garden that they were able to have everyone in school try a taste, but also had plenty left over to donate to local food pantries.
Parents at Windsor Elementary teamed up to create a garden at the school to promote nutrition and healthy eating towards the kids. Thanks to the First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Lets Move” program, parents have been able for the third straight year to plant seeds, as well as influence and encourage students in discovering how their vegetables are grown.
These parents are just not initiating and implementing healthy eating habits among the children, they are also starting a new program called “Green Team,” which hopes to expose them to conservation and environmental projects. Parents are taking steps to the next level to make sure that the students at Windsor are aware of the environment and the importance of keeping it safe.
Prior to working at Whole Foods Market, I use to work at an elementary school in the Chicagoland area, where they had students participate in the gardening of beautiful flowers, vegetables, and herbs. Each week, children would go out to the playgrounds to water and plant the seeds as well as maintain the garden by weeding, pruning, and picking up litter. Companies like Whole Foods Market have started new programs to raise money to create gardens in local Chicago Public Schools, to promote healthy and better eating habits.
It is wonderful that volunteers, parents, teachers, businesses, and communities are trying to create environmental awareness and build new programs focused on the younger generation. It is important that we keep on motivating and teaching future generations on how are planet should be taken care of, even if it is just starting by eating healthy. With more programs like this, children can start making better environmental choices that are not only going to help them but sustain our planet’s resources.
Each week during the Fall 2013 semester, students in Prof. Mike Bryson’s SUST 210 Sustainable Future online class at Roosevelt University will contribute blog posts on suburban sustainability issues to the Schaumburg’s Sustainable Future website.