This year Georgia students made some startling discoveries:
A student in Fannin County realized a peanut was not actually a nut.
Gwinnett County pre-kindergarteners learned about a mystery vegetable.
Cherokee County fourth graders were surprised to find that black bean quesadillas were delicious.
In October, over 240,000 Georgia students planted, grew, and tried legumes as part of Georgia Organic’s yearly campaign to get kids excited about local vegetables. Kids often need to try new foods over eight times to learn to like and prefer them (Birch 1990). Georgia Organic’s October Farm to School Month Campaign aims to ensure Georgia students are learning to love healthy food by exposing them to new foods in fun ways!
This year’s October Farm to School Month theme, Make Room for Legumes, was a state-wide campaign effort to get kids across Georgia eating, growing, and participating in bean, pea, peanut, and other legume-themed activities during October. Georgia Organics provided over 550 Georgia educators, school nutrition staff, and community members with seeds, fun washable tattoos, and an electronic toolkit of curriculum lessons, easy activities, and recipes.
“My students loved learning the word legume and trying to use it in a conversation with their families,” said a Cherokee County Educator. “They loved planting, measuring, comparing, and tasting a variety of legumes. Their favorite activity was making black bean salsa. The number of students that shared that they don’t eat beans was pretty high [and] we discussed how important it is to try new things. They measured, chopped, mixed, and tasted it…the verdict was 99% loved [it]!”
Georgia students from early care through twelfth grade participated in October Farm to School Month. Students taste tested new recipes such as chickpea hummus and three bean salad and explored math, science, and reading concepts through legume themed lessons.
A Jackson County Science teacher used the Make Room for Legumes campaign as an opportunity to try out a new STEM activity with her students, “we germinated donated legume seeds to start the first aquaponics lab in our county! Our legumes keep growing, and growing, and growing!”
All of the resources from Make Room for Legumes and prior year’s campaigns on carrots, radishes, and lettuce are available year round. Engage your students with healthy vegetables here.
Birch, L. Pass the Sugar, Pass the Salt: Experience Dictates Preference. Developmental Psychology, 1990.