What is a kitchen garden?
The Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program has four major components which involves the students in the growing, harvesting, preparing, sharing and learning about food.
By encouraging the students through the process of the program the students will experience positive experiences that can lead them to a lifetime habit of healthy eating.
Stephanie Alexander believes passionately that young children will develop lasting positive attitudes to a wide range of foods, with consequent long-term health benefits, if they are introduced to them at an early age in a pleasurable non-judgmental way.
The Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation exists to develop life-long healthier and
happier eating habits in a new generation of Australians.
The Foundation promotes healthy lifestyles through greater physical activity and nutritious eating, and by addressing the rising prevalence of childhood obesity and diabetes.
The creation and care of a Kitchen Garden teaches children about the beauty of the natural world, how to care for it and how to use its resources. The kitchen garden program will give children an appreciation for how easy it is to bring joy and well being into
one's life through growing, harvesting, preparing and sharing fresh seasonal produce.
There are two unique factors about the Kitchen Garden Program. The first is the intrinsic link between the garden, the
kitchen and the table. The second factor is that the Program is embedded in the curriculum as a compulsory part of the school's program for seven years of a child's primary school life.
Working in the garden is a physical activity.
Experience in the kitchen not only introduces children to new foods and recipes but also provides them with skills such as using a knife safely and effectively or managing hot stoves and saucepans. They learn that new experiences can be rewarding and their self esteem, confidence and sense of achievement is enhanced as they learn to work cooperatively, share resources, respect each other, see teachers in a different learning environment, gain enjoyment working in the garden and the kitchen. Children will learn to measure, calculate and problem solve, expand their vocabulary and language skills and learn about new foods and cultures.
- expend physical energy working in the garden
- learn new language to describe food, plants, textures and flavours
- use maths to measure and weigh
- discover the pleasure of the shared table
- learn to work as part of a team
- develop greater self confidence
- gain awareness of cultural differences
- develop awareness of the environment and plant diversity
- develop the skills to prepare a three course meal
- learn time management and organisational skills