An image depicting a child learning to garden

Kids Learn to Like Beans When They Grow Them in a Garden

Fourth-grade students in Washington State gained a new appreciation for beans when they participated in a “Pulse on Health” curriculum. Part of the program involved planting, caring for, and harvesting beans in a school garden. Compared to kids who didn’t grow beans, the young gardeners knew more about bean nutrition at the end of the program according to a series of survey questions they answered. Not only were they more knowledgeable, but they also had a new appreciation for beans in meals. Nearly a third of them reported that they were eating more beans.

Any type of dry bean makes a fun and educational at-home garden project for school-aged children. Beans can be grown in a small patch in your yard, or in pots on a sunny balcony. Growing beans is a valuable summer project that can also help kids eat better.

Source: Exploring Pulses Through Math, Science, and Nutrition Activities. The Journal of Child Nutrition and Management. Spring, 2016.