257654 KidsGrow KidsCook: Accessible gardening and cooking for NSW primary schools

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 : 4:30 PM - 4:50 PM

Kelly Crawford, MPH, CHES , Policy Officer, Healthy Kids Association, Epping, Australia
Jo Gardner , Healthy Kids Association, Epping, Australia
Monica Alcock , Southern NSW Local Health District, NSW Ministry of Health, Cooma, Australia
Brendan Pearson , Murrumbidgee Local Health District, NSW Ministry of Health, Albury, Australia
INTRODUCTION- KidsGrow KidsCook (KGKC) was a 12-month pilot gardening and cooking program with full linkages to NSW Key Learning Areas (KLA's) aiming to increase fruit and vegetable consumption by children. KGKC was accessible for schools with varied resources, through the identification of three gardening and cooking models. METHODS- KGKC was piloted with 16 primary schools in the Greater Southern Area of NSW. A literature review and survey guided the development of garden models and curriculum resources. Project Teams (PT's) were formed at each school. Schools were provided with small grants for infrastructure. They were also given teacher resources and access to local level and helpline support. The evaluation, conducted by NSW Health, consisted of four survey types. RESULTS- Fifteen schools completed the pilot. Gardening and cooking in the classroom occurred in each school with lessons integrated into KLA's. School capacity to implement KGKC increased through infrastructure development and a curriculum resource, and improved parent and community involvement in fruit and vegetable activities in the schools. PT surveys reported observed change in children's knowledge, skills and behaviour around fruit, vegetables, healthy eating and cooking. DISCUSSION- Success depends on teacher resources, community linkages, and integration into the curriculum married with other support such as phone or e-mail check-ins. Learnings will be instrumental in the development of gardening and cooking programs in schools across Australia. Gardening and cooking programs in primary schools can be attainable and fully integrated into the existing NSW school curriculum, helping to create a whole-school approach to health.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Program planning

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify three potential gardening and cooking models for schools, based upon available school resources; and 2. Describe two keys to the success of gardening and cooking activities in primary schools in NSW, Australia.

Keywords: Nutrition, School-Based Programs

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a health professional working in policy, research and evaluation at Healthy Kids Association in NSW, Australia and have assisted in writing the final report for the KidsGrow KidsCook program. I have previously co-developed curriculum for an urban gardening and nutrition program and developed evaluative tools for gardening as a systems approach to education.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.