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PROMOTING LIFELONG HEALTHY EATING HABITS

Setting up and running a school garden A MANUAL FOR TEACHERS, PARENTS AND COMMUNITIES


Front cover: School children in China: R. Faidutti. School garden in Panama: Jesús Bulux, Instituto de Nutrición de Centro América y Panamá and Pan American Health Organization. Vegetables and fruit: Mel Futter. Back cover: Ethiopian children: R. Faidutti. Illustration: Mel Futter. Design: J. Morgante/R. Magini.


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ADEQUATE NUTRITION AND EDUCATION are key to the development of children and their future livelihoods. The reality facing millions of children, however, is that these essentials are far from being met. A countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s future hinges on its youth. Yet children who go to school hungry cannot learn well. They have decreased physical activity, diminished cognitive abilities and reduced resistance to infections. Their school performance is often poor and they may drop out of school early. In the long term, chronic malnutrition decreases individual potential and has adverse affects on productivity, incomes and national development. Schools can make an important contribution to countriesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; efforts to overcome hunger and malnutrition, and school gardens can help to improve the nutrition and education of children and their families in both rural and urban areas. FAO promotes school gardens primarily as a platform for learning, as well as a vehicle for better nutrition. Schools are encouraged to create learning gardens that are moderate in size so that they can be easily managed by students, teachers and parents, but that also allow for the production of a variety of nutritious vegetables and fruits (and where possible, some small-scale livestock such as chickens or rabbits). Production methods are kept simple so that they can be easily replicated by students and parents at their homes. In preparing this manual, intended to assist school teachers, parents and the wider community, FAO has drawn upon experiences and best practices derived from school garden initiatives all over the world. Classroom lessons are linked with practical learning in the garden about nature and the environment, food production and marketing, food processing and preparation, and making healthy food choices.

ISBN 92-5-105408-8

9

789251

054086

TC/M/A0218E/1/11.05/3000


Nutrion