Garden at Wausau School teaches students healthier habits - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Garden at Wausau School teaches students healthier habits

WAUSAU (WAOW) - A garden at Wausau's Jefferson Elementary School is growing 30 different vegetables.

School officials say students get to eat the food at lunch or take it home, ultimately introducing them to healthier habits.

A $4,000 state grant helped start the new garden.

Students planted the garden in the spring and are now harvesting it.

The garden is designed to help fight childhood obesity.

"If you eat more vegetables, you're eating less junk food," said Theresa O'Brien, Garden Program Coordinator.

Educators say that by involving students in the growing process, they will be more likely to try the greens.

"They are anxious to eat them and it's wonderful to see that part of it, you're not fighting with them to just try a little bit," said Cathy Prozanski, Principal at Jefferson Elementary.

School officials say students are also learning about nutrition.

"They're always learning the value of why they should be trying new things or the vitamins and minerals that they could be getting and the importance of it on my plate and their plate," said Renee Heinrich, Science Teacher at Jefferson Elementary.

Heinrich says with more than 30 vegetables growing in the garden, she can incorporate different lessons each month with a different vegetable.

"We have harvest of the month and I do lessons in the lunchroom to teach kids the importance of this month tomatoes, next month apples, and then when we get into November it's squash and pumpkins," said Heinrich.

School officials say they also have a pasta garden, Hmong garden, and salsa garden in the works, that will bring more diversity of foods into the project.

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