Growing Healthy Kids

A Community Garden-Based Obesity Prevention Program

Community gardens provide low-income families with access to healthy local food.

In the Growing Healthy Kids pilot study, community gardens in Carrboro, NC, served as a vehicle to introduce young children to nutrition and healthy eating.

During the program (2008–2010), families and children participated in gardening work sessions, cooking and nutrition workshops, and social activities and events. Some 60 percent of the families were Latino.

In a survey, parents reported a 28 percent increase in fruit consumption and a 33 percent increase in vegetable consumption by their children. All the children with normal body mass indexes (BMIs) stayed normal and 17 percent of those overweight or obese improved their BMI classification.