Learning where food comes from and how to prepare nutritious meals has become a component of the curriculum at W. Smith Elementary School. Thanks to a grant from Louisiana Team Nutrition, students have the opportunity to create a tower garden to grow fresh produce such as bibb lettuce, gourmet lettuce, rainbow chard, and kale .
Recently, students created salads, smoothies, and salsa using the produce from the garden. Juice Plus representative, Linda Woodward, helped lead the class and taught students how to grow plants in the garden and how to prepare fresh fruits and vegetables in both a nutritious and delicious way.
Katherine Williams, physical education teacher and lead for the grant, said the students have been excited to see the garden grow each week.
“While they love the process, I think their favorite part is the product,” she said. “They have enjoyed the taste testing with the salads and smoothies that we have made in class using the produce we are growing.”
Food Service Coordinator Joni Blum said the garden provides students a hands-on opportunity to deepen their understanding of nutrition and see science first-hand.
“This project helps students learn about nutrition, practice science concepts, and establish connections between growing food and eating healthy,” she said. “We are so proud of the work happening at Smith Elementary and are excited to see how this garden impacts the way our students think about the food they eat throughout their lives.”