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Row of bright green seedlings sprouting in rich dark soil

Groundbreaking: How Gardening Inspires Lifelong Health

Gardening offers impressive health benefits. Research shows that homegrown produce offers more than just the convenience of having food right in your backyard. Not only does it give you the sunshine you need for Vitamin D production, gardening is also a way to be active as you tend to your plants. But that’s not all: eating the vegetables and fruits you grow can meet your body’s essential energy needs. 
 
That is why UTNI is partnering up with TX Sprouts, a research project that allows elementary-aged children to learn more about nutrition by gardening and cooking during their typical school day. Our nutrition researchers monitor and measure how gardening and cooking affects children’s obesity markers, dietary intake and behaviors, physical activity levels, and school performance. Letting children learn more about nutrition at such an early age may help them make diet choices that will benefit them in the long term. 

Interested in getting involved? Connect with us to learn how to become a student volunteer. Through volunteering, students gain experience gardening and learn research skills under Nutrition Professor and Principal Investigator Jaimie Davis, PhD, RD, and her research team. Students can assist elementary students by building school gardens and outdoor classrooms, and by learning to give cooking and gardening lessons to elementary students. 

TX Sprouts hopes to encourage children to bring home what they learn in the garden. Understanding more about nutrition from the root can inspire healthier food decisions in everyday life. Check back for more information to come on how TX Sprouts is changing lives, one garden at a time. 

Published on October 18, 2019 in What's Fresh