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R aw E nergy A ctive L iving. The Nutritional & Physical Benefits of Edible Gardens Presented by: Deanne McMullen & Giuliano Perez. Session Outline Warm up activity What are the recommendations? Nutritional content of fruit and vegetables

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r aw e nergy a ctive l iving

R aw E nergy A ctive L iving

The Nutritional & Physical Benefits of Edible Gardens

Presented by:

Deanne McMullen


Giuliano Perez


Session Outline

Warm up activity

What are the recommendations?

Nutritional content of fruit and vegetables

Nutrient depletion in “fresh” fruit and vegetables

Benefits of authentic learning experiences

What is the evidence for edible gardens?

Tasting sensation

Physical activity and the garden

warm up


what are the recommendations
What are the Recommendations?

Australian Dietary Guidelines for Children & Adolescents

  • Encourage and support breastfeeding
  • Children and adolescents need sufficient nutritious foods to grow and develop normally
  • Growth should be checked regularly for young children
  • Physical activity is important for all children and adolescents.
  • Enjoy a wide variety of nutritious foods

Children and adolescents should be encouraged to:

  • Eat plenty of vegetables, legumes and fruit.
  • Eat plenty of cereals (including breads, rice, pasta and noodles), preferably wholegrain.
  • Include lean meat, fish, poultry and/or alternatives.
  • Include milks, yoghurts, cheese and/or alternatives. Reduced fat milk is not recommended for children under two years, because of their high energy needs, but reduced fat varieties should be encouraged for older children and adolescents.
  • Choose water as a drink. Alcohol is not recommended for children
what are the recommendations1
What are the Recommendations?

Australian Dietary Guidelines for Children & Adolescents cont…

and care should be taken to:

  • Limit saturated fat and moderate total fat intake. Low fat diets are not suitable for infants
  • Choose foods low in salt.
  • Consume only moderate amounts of sugars and foods containing added sugars

What are the Recommendations?

Vegetables and Fruits

Number of Serves per day

what are the recommendations2
What are the Recommendations?

Serving Sizes

Starchy vegetables

1 med potato/yam, ½ med sweet potato, 1 med parsnip

Dark green leafy vegetables

½ c cabbage, spinach, silverbeet, broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts

Legumes + other vegetables

1 c lettuce or salad vegetables

½ c broad beans, lentils, green beans, zucchini, mushrooms, tomatoes, capsicum, cucumber, sweetcorn, turnips, swede, sprouts, celery, eggplant, etc

what are the recommendations3
What are the Recommendations?

Serving Sizes


1 piece med size fruit, e.g. apple, orange, mango, mandarin, banana, pear

2 pieces smaller fruit, e.g. apricots, kiwi, plum, fig

About 8 strawberries

About 20 grapes or cherries

½ c fruit juice

¼ med melon, e.g. rockmelon

Dried fruit, e.g. 4 dried apricot halves

1 ½ tbsp sultanas

1 c diced pieces / canned fruit


“Go for 2 & 5” Campaign

Population-based messages

  • Poor diet is a key risk factor for overweight and obesity
  • Evidence that eating the recommended amount of fruit and vegetables contributes to good health, reduces overweight, and protects against a number of diseases

In the Classroom

  • Ensure positive messages about eating more fruits and vegetables daily
  • Avoid focusing on overweight and obesity as the reason for improved eating habits
nutritional content of fruit and vegetables
Nutritional Content of Fruit and Vegetables
  • Fibre
    • Soluble
    • Insoluble
    • Resistant starch
  • Vitamins
    • Vitamin A (retinol)
    • B-carotene
    • Vitamin C
nutritional content of fruit and vegetables1
Nutritional Content of Fruit and Vegetables
  • Minerals
    • Potassium
    • Calcium
    • Magnesium
    • Iron & zinc (legumes)
  • Antioxidants
    • Lycopenes
    • Vitamins A, C, E
    • Carotenoids
    • Lutein
    • Flavonoids
    • Isoflavonoids
    • Indoles
    • Anthocyanins
links between disease risk and consumption of fruit and vegetables
Links between Disease Risk and Consumption of Fruit and Vegetables

Increased consumption of fruit and vegetables has been linked with a marked decrease in:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Cancer
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • CVA (stroke)
  • Constipation
  • Obesity (link is probable)
nutrient depletion over time
Nutrient Depletion over Time

Green Beans


Source: www.choice.com.au


Nutrient Depletion over Time



Source: www.choice.com.au

nutrient depletion over time1
Nutrient Depletion over Time


Source: www.choice.com.au

food miles
Food Miles


  • “Put simply, 'food miles' is a measure of how far food travels - from paddock to plate - and is an indication of how environmentally-friendly it is. Food freight - especially by air and road - consumes fuel and energy, and releases greenhouse pollution, affecting the global climate”

(Australian Conservation Foundation)

  • The more “food miles” fruits and vegetables have done, the lower the nutritional value due to time in transit

 Fruit and vegetables eaten fresh from the garden will have the highest nutritional content possible

new labelling laws
New Labelling Laws
  • Revised labelling requirements for unpackaged fresh food, unpackaged processed food and fresh food in packages
  • Standard 1.2.11 Country of Origin Requirements

“…declaration on a label or a sign near the food that states country of origin, and not just the word ‘imported’. These products, if produced locally, must be labelled as ‘Product of Australia’”

 Therefore it will be easier to tell if fruit and vegetables are grown locally

authentic learning experiences
Authentic Learning Experiences
  • Authentic learning experiences are those that are personally relevant from the learner’s perspective and situated within appropriate social contexts.
  • The idea is that knowledge and skills are learnt in contexts that reflect the way they will be useful in real life
  • Connectedness to the world: a combination of real-world public problems, and students’ personal experiences
what is the evidence
What is the Evidence??

Based on the literature, the key benefits that school gardening can deliver are:

  • enhanced nutrition
  • access to fresh/better tasting food
  • enjoyment of nature
  • improved overall health
  • enhanced mental health
  • improved food security
  • self-expression and fulfilment
  • recreation
  • stress relief
  • practice of traditional culture
  • physical activity

Source: Growing Communities “School Community Garden Project


Further References

  • School-based community gardens: Re-establishing healthy relationships with food

Shawn Somerset PhD, Richard Ball, Melanie Flett & Rebecca Geissman

Journal of the HEIA Vol 12, No. 2, 2005

  • Evaluation of the Outreach School Garden Project: Building the capacity of two Indigenous remote school communities to integrate nutrition into the core curriculum

Antonietta Viola

Health Promotion Journal jof Australia, 2006: 17 (3)

  • The Effects of School Gardens on Students and Schools: Conceptualization and Considerations for Maximizing Healthy Development

Emily J. Ozer PhD

Health Education and Behaviour, Vol. XX(X): 1-18

  • Community Gardens: Lessons Learned from California Healthy Cities and Communities

Joan Twiss, MA, Joy Dickinson, BS, CHES, Shirley Duma, MA, Tanya Kleinman, BA, Heather Paulsen, MS, and Liz Rilveria, MPA

American Journal of Public Health, September 2003, Vol 93, No. 9



physical activity and the garden
Physical Activity and the Garden
  • For gardening to be identified as a 'positive' physical activity source - the energy applied needs to be 'moderate - vigorous' for 20-30 minutes to realise associated benefits
  • Most gardening groups consist of one person 'doing' and several 'watching'
  • To be a 'physical' focused activity it would need planning and opportunity
  • Try to incorporate projects involving major work (digging, lifting, toting, sawing etc) such as landscaping
  • These activities would need gross motor skill usage and would require strength, coordination, power and possibly stamina

Source: Healthy Schools Van

physical activity and the garden cont
Physical Activity and the Gardencont…
  • A consideration could be for those who do little or nothing - this is a start to getting involved and being 'more active'.
  • This could result if 'channeled' well into future benefits for the student - BUT this would not really be categorised as a physical activity outcome in the first sense, even though it could have a variety of positive personal outcomes for a student.
  • Gardening could be used as an activity to realise a number of outcomes in a several key learning areas - the physical activity area would be the lesser (least) of the beneficiaries. 

Source: Healthy Schools Van