Veggie U is dedicated to increasing children’s awareness of healthy food options, and teaching them how real food reaches their plate. We believe children who are exposed to growing their own food are more likely to include vegetables in their diet. Our national non-profit organization supplies Classroom Gardens and a standards based, five-week science program to teachers of elementary and special needs students.
October is National Farm to School Month, a time to celebrate the connections happening all over the country between children and local food. From taste tests in the cafeteria and nutrition education activities in the classroom, to farm visits and school garden harvest parties, schools, early care and education sites, farms, communities, and organizations in all 50 states and D.C. join in the celebrations.
Veggie U has been a Farm to School proponent and partner for many years. Our classroom garden program upholds many of the tenets of Farm to School, providing children with a connection between the food on their plate, how it gets there, and why it's important to make healthy choices.
Next month Veggie U staff will be participating in several organized Farm to School conferences in the state of Ohio. First up is the School Garden Conference"Getting Back to Our Roots" on October 7th in Columbus, Ohio. Veggie U will exhibit our Classroom Garden for the attendees and explain how we can help them meet education goals for their Farm to School initiatives. Attend to learn more about Veggie U and school gardens.
On October 13 in Massillon, Ohio, Veggie U Education Manager Lynne Eirons will moderate the session "Tips for Aligning Farm to School with Curriculum" during the Northeast Ohio Farm to School Workshop.
Register for this conference to dig a little deeper into farm to school successes and get help with current challenges.
On October 14 we cross the state to exhibit at the Northwest Ohio Farm to School Workshop in Perrysburg, Ohio. Attend this conference to learn more about Farm to School in general, food safety, local procurement and more.
Veggie U supports all efforts to teach kids about the connection between growing food and making healthful eating choices, including Farm to School. National Farm to School Month was designated by Congress in 2010 to demonstrate the growing importance of farm to school programs as a means to improve child nutrition, support local economies and educate children about the origins of food. We hope to see you at a Farm to School event next month!
Gardens Will Soon Grow in Barberton Schools
Twelve new Veggie U Classroom Gardens will soon grow in Barberton (OH) City Schools thanks to the generosity of the Tuscora Park Health & Wellness Foundation (TPHWF).
This is the first year for the Veggie U program in Barberton, and the gift allows for both primary and special needs classrooms to begin growing with Veggie U. TPHWF staff were instrumental in the introduction of Veggie U to Barberton City Schools Superintendent Patti Cleary, who then championed the program to her principals and teachers.
A comprehensive teacher orientation and training was provided to those educators by Lynne Eirons, Veggie U Education Manager. The teachers are eager to get growing with Veggie U!
The Tuscora Park Health & Wellness Foundation (TPHWF) was created through the merger of the Barberton Citizens Hospital Foundation and the Barberton Citizens Hospital Auxiliary, which had long histories of improving the quality of healthcare in our area. TPHWF is a private and independent philanthropic organization that provides grants to charitable organizations that share the mission of providing health and wellness opportunities for citizens of Barberton, Ohio, and the surrounding communities.
"We are thrilled to make this initial in-road to impacting the health and well-being of Barbertson students with the support of Tuscora Park," said Nadia Clifford, Veggie U Executive Director. "We would love to supply the remaining Barberton special needs classrooms with Veggie U A+ classroom gardens, and place additional Primary gardens as well. We are seeking additional community support so that every child can experience the benefits of our program."
If you would like to help support Veggie U in Barberton or your local schools, please donate today!
We're on a mission to show kids that carrots are cool! They are delicious, healthy, and add a happy orange color to our meals.
Carrots have a long and storied history from their first cultivation in the middle east to the sweet, crunchy vegetable we know today. Did you know carrots weren't always orange? Do you know where that bright, happy color comes from and why they are so good for us?
For answers, read our blog for to see why we are so big on carrots, and how we use this nutritional powerhouse to teach kids in the Veggie U program.
Veggie U loves carrots so much we included them in our logo! We love them for good reason, as carrots are very healthy and delicious. Kids love them for their slightly sweet and crunchy texture raw, but they shine equally well cooked and pureed into a warming healthy soup. With fall here, the vibrant orange color is a cheery way to dress up the dinner table.
Carrot Soup Yield: 4 servings
1 T olive oil
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 C chopped green onion
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 pounds carrots, roughly chopped
4 C reduced sodium vegetable broth
Adults Only: Place the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion, season with salt and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 8 minutes, or until softened.
Add the carrots to the pot, pour in the broth, stir and bring to a boil. When the broth boils, reduce heat to low and cover the pot with its lid, leaving it slightly ajar. Simmer for 20 minutes, or until the carrots are very tender. When the carrots are tender, puree using an immersion blender. (If using a regular blender, allow to cool first, puree & reheat if needed.)
Adults can spoon the soup into bowls, and then kids can add popcorn, goldfish crackers, or other fun garnishes. Enjoy!
Nutrition: Calories 152 | Total Fat 4.9g | Saturated Fat 0.9g | Trans Fat 0.0g | Cholesterol 0mg | Sodium 1176mg | Potassium 839mg | Total Carbohydrates 20.8g | Dietary Fiber 5.1g | Sugars 10.2g | Protein 6.8g
Parma Heights Christian Academy students learning how to read nutrition labels and how to determin if a food is healthy or not.
Many thanks to the wonderful teachers, staff, and especially the students at Parma Heights Christian Academy for letting Veggie U visit recently. We were able to observe their indoor gardens and sit in on a nutrition lesson. It was wonderful hearing about their new favorite vegetables and all the exciting things they are learning with Veggie U.
Belvidere School District Dominion Foundation Elizabeth and G. Keith Engelhardt Euclid City Schools Jared and Vaneesa Smith St. Peter School