August 2018 Newsletter
Dear Friends,

Are you connecting your classroom learning and school garden activities to the cafeteria menu? Most people I meet have not considered this idea. Even people who have been working with school gardens for a long time. However, most of us who have raised or worked with kids know how difficult it can be to encourage healthy eating habits, even when the food tastes fabulous! Creating threads of connection throughout the school into home and the community has the potential to inspire a culture of eating well and feeling our best while taking care of our special places. I hope reading this newsletter sparks new ideas for bridging the gap between the cafeteria and the other areas of your school.
Happy vegetables child. Cute kid in supermarket holds bulgarian sweet pepper for salad. Healthy food fresh vegetables for lunch. Shopping in store fresh products for kitchen and cooking. Baby food
Featured Article
5 Ideas to Connect the Cafeteria to the Classroom

The more kids are bombarded with messages for healthy eating, the more likely the ideas are to stick. One recent study explains that a “flavor window” lasts from four to six months of age. The flavor window offers the optimal time to introduce a variety of vegetables and set patterns for lifelong healthy habits for those vegetables as well as a willingness to try new ones.
For those who missed the flavor window or found it glued shut from the onset, the key to getting kids to eat healthy foods comes from persistence and exposure. Schools, parents, and all caretakers must band together and stand united with messages and modeling that encourage fresh, nutritious food choices.
At school this means when fresh green beans cooked to perfection are served on the menu, the morning announcement tells students that green beans originated in Central America more than 5,000 years ago, students then study the parts of a green bean plant in biology and the number of beans per plant in math, and they go to the school garden to plant corn for a natural bean trellis. The student tastes fresh beans in home economics, not just green, but yellow and purple too. Art of vegetables hang in the hallways. They take home recipes and share their learning with family. The parents might come to the school for cooking classes or join their students on a field trip to a local farm.
How satisfied are you with the quality of food served at your institution?
Very satisfied
Somewhat satisfied
Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied
Somewhat dissatisfied
Very dissatisfied
Start or Improve Farm to School Today!
We created a course to help schools with their farm to school programs. With step-by-step processes and feedback from BGP along the way, you can start or improve your program today! We give you the tools to get the funding you need to take your program to the next level, and the support you need to create a successful foodservice program.

Click HERE for more information about Dream a New Dream: Operational Manual for Farm to School Programs.
School Food Resources
Farm to School Taste Tests in School Cafeterias from Growing Minds, an Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project

Explains how and why taste tests in school help kids become more willing to try new foods in the cafeteria.

A Guide for Creating School Gardens as Outdoor Classrooms by Center for Ecoliteracy

A comprehensive guide to school gardens, including information such as why they work, how to start and maintain one, how to incorporate your garden into the curriculum and how to involve the community.
Thanks again for the continued support. Drop us a line (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or the old fashioned way), we would love to hear from you!


Greg Christian