Monday, April 3, 2017

Colorado nutrition program teaches gardening to get kids to eat veggies

A nutrition assistance program in Colorado is working to increase the amount of fruits and vegetables in children’s diets by teaching them more about gardening, according to a news release from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

The statewide program, called “Cooking up Healthy Options with Plants, launched in March in child care centers and homes supported by the Colorado Child and Adult Food Care Program, a health department program that provides nutrition assistance and education to care programs serving low-income Coloradans.

“The CHOP program provides children experience in growing their own food,” said Tanya O’Connor, nutrition consultant for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. “Gardening will help these children experience the wonder and bounty of nature while developing healthy eating habits for a lifetime.”

The CHOP program aims to teach children the behaviors that lead to a healthier lifestyle. In Jefferson County, 92 percent of children consume less than the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables each day. One of every three Jefferson County adults consumes less than one serving of fruit each day.

To change this, the CHOP program includes gardening to its nutrition curriculum and encourages participating day care centers and homes to plant gardens.

Learn more about the program here: Cooking up Healthy Options with Plants.
The Jefferson County Food Policy Council aims to increase equitable access to healthy, local and affordable food and support a sustainable community food system. To learn more about the council or become a member, go to

To learn more about WIC, which provides supplemental nutrition to families in Jefferson County, go to

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