Out in the kitchen garden

500 schools around Australia are participating in the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program.

Since Stephanie Alexander started the first Kitchen Garden Program at Collingwood College in Melbourne in 2001, more than 170,000 children have been getting out in the garden and learning lifelong skills of growing, harvesting, preparing and sharing fresh, seasonal food.

Now, the number of schools taking part has reached 500, with students from Randwick Public School in Sydney joining in the unique food education program.

Learning to love fresh, healthy food

As well as teaching valuable skills and instilling a love for healthy food, the program is designed to be fun, which Stephanie Alexander says is directly linked to its success. As the kids learn to care for a garden, plant and harvest food and cook simple and nutritious dishes, they engage in hands-on activity that encourages teamwork and social interaction.

“I strongly believe that the way to change how kids feel about food is for them to learn about it from the very beginning, from planting a seed, and watering it in, to harvesting food when it is ready, bringing it into a kitchen and cooking it before sitting around the table and eating with their friends,” Stephanie says. “As their dish is praised by their peers their pride shows. Very quickly students will readily try unfamiliar foods.”

children gardening cooking Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation schools program

Teachers agree that the Kitchen Garden Program is a great initiative that positively supports classroom learning. A recent evaluation of the program by the University of Wollongong found that 97 per cent of teachers reported that students found the hands-on activities engaging and it aided learning across other subject areas, as well as improving social behaviours.

Proudly supported by the Medibank Community Fund

Medibank is proud to be the principal partner of the Kitchen Garden Foundation, and Medibank Managing Director George Savvides joined Stephanie and the Foundation to celebrate the 500 schools milestone.

“Encouraging healthy eating habits, greater physical activity and community connectedness are the three core aims of the Medibank Community Fund,” George says. “Through our shared goals with the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program, we are proud to have played a role in helping Australian children and their families achieve a much greater awareness and understanding of healthy food and eating practice.”

Find out more about the program at kitchengardenfoundation.org.au

 

Recommended reading - Positive psychology

Advice

10 best mental health apps

Top apps for managing anxiety, boosting your mood and checking in with your mental wellbeing.

Read more
Experts

10 things you need to know about the mind

Psychologist Emily Toner takes us inside this mysterious mass of nerves and fibres in our heads.

Read more
Advice

How mindfulness makes you calm, clear and focused

Ready to silence your mind, untangle your nerves, and really connect with your world? Here's how.

Read more
Community

Smiling Mind: Mindfulness made easy

Making mindfulness meditation free, Smiling Mind improves the mental wellbeing of young Australians

Read more
Experts

Building a better brain

Brain fitness is a lifelong commitment to health and wellbeing - Dr Brockis shares her top fit tips.

Read more
In Brief

Positive coping strategies for men

How you cope can be translated from a survey to help develop more effective mental health programs.

Read more
Guides

The power of positive thinking

How positive self-talk can improve your sports performance.

Read more

For full functionality of this site it is necessary to enable JavaScript. Here are instructions on how to enable JavaScript in your web browser.