NC State Extension

Garden-Enhanced Nutrition Education

Students making a cabbage slaw

Students making a cabbage slaw

Garden-Enhanced Nutrition Education actively engages youth in understanding about healthy foods utilizing seasonal, local produce to build a meaningful connection to the growing experiences that youth are participating in.

For example, students may be cultivating a winter crop of kale that they harvest for a cooking class to make massaged kale salad.

Research suggests that students that have grown their own fruits and vegetables are more willing to try and taste them.

Curriculum and Lesson Plans

  • North Carolina Cooperative Extension’s EFNEP (Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program) and SNAP-Ed (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) naturally integrate fresh fruits and vegetables into healthy eating nutrition programs. Contact your local county Cooperative Extension office to learn more!
  • Junior Master Gardener through Texas A&M University and Texas Agrilife Cooperative Extension’s 4-H program have developed an evidence-based curriculum, Learn, Grow, Eat and GO! that weaves together gardening, nutrition education and physical activity.
  • USDA-FNS Team Nutrition has developed a number of garden-enhanced curriculum resources including: Serving up MyPlate (elementary), The Great Garden Detective Adventure (Grades 3 & 4), and Dig In! (Grades 5 & 6).
  • Edible Schoolyard – a database of lessons and recipes that have been submitted by educators across the country.

Primary Contact:
Liz Driscoll
4-H Youth Specialist
Departments of Crop and Soil Sciences, Entomology and Plant Pathology and Horticulture Science
NC State University