A vegetable garden in a preschool in Baqa al-Gharbiyye. Image: Adi Yahidi
Cauliflower, bell peppers, tomatoes and many other vegetables – all become part of the educational experience in preschool and go straight from the garden to the plate. In 2014, 32 preschools from Kiryat Shmona, Hadera, Ramla, Modi’in Illit and Be’er Sheva set off and started vegetable gardens whose purpose is to encourage consumption of fruit and vegetables that grow right in their yard. The program was initiated in collaboration by EfshariBari – National Project for Active and Healthy Lifestyle, Ministry of Health and Israel Joint Association – Ashalim.
Activities included diverse content related to a healthy diet, connection to nature and the seasons, and sustainability
- Seasonal vegetables, herbs and even fruit trees are grown in the gardens.
- Staff undergoes training on cultivating and growing vegetable gardens.
- In the garden you learn about the importance of eating a variety of fruit and vegetables.
- The children go through a comprehensive process that starts from growing and nurturing the garden vegetables to consuming them on their daily menu.
- The children are involved in the whole process: sowing, watering, picking, preparing and eating.
In 2014, the initiative also expanded to the Arab sector, with 20 more preschools in Baqa al-Gharbiyye. This time, the partners were also joined by Baqa al-Gharbiyye local authority, Joint Israel-Ashalim, Netafim, the Green Network and Al-Qasemi College. Vegetable gardens have been established in preschools that also incorporate education for sustainability, with the aim of changing and improving children's dietary habits and promoting education for sustainability and a healthier lifestyle in the preschool.
It’s possible in your preschool too!
If you’re interested in having a vegetable garden in your or your children’s preschool, you can get assistance from our short application guides written by the Ministry of Health’s Pedagogic Administration, partner to the National Program EfshariBari.