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Getting Kiwi kids in the garden

Published: 11:57AM Tuesday August 21, 2012

With children becoming less connected with the source of the food they eat and obesity now a national epidemic, one charitable organisation is looking to improve Kiwi kids relationship to their food.

Charitable programme Garden to Table aims to educate New Zealand children about preparing and eating healthy food by showing them how to grow, harvest, prepare and share their own food.

Garden to Table Chairperson Catherine Bell spoke to Good Morning and explained how the programme is working in schools.

Watch Catherine Bell and Boh Runga's interview below:

“The children grown and harvest the food, then they take it into a kitchen classroom where they prepare, then they sit around tables and share it with the volunteers and the teachers and the specialist staff involved in it.”

She believes the programme is setting the kids up for life of healthy eating.

“They’re learning how to feed themselves. And they’re learning about good food and we’re instilling in them a passion for good food.”

While these days children are expected to learn about food and cooking in the home, Bell points out there’s a significant lack of understanding from many parents.

“There’s a whole generation of parents who actually have no knowledge about where food comes from, how to cook, how to put good food on the table for their family.”

“It’s not just about education. It’s about health, it’s about the environment and there’s a social element too. Families don’t sit around the table and eat together.”

East Tamaki Primary School principal Sarah Mirams describes how the Garden to Table programme has had a dramatic effect on her students.

“Previously they were very reticent at wanting to eat salad, stir fries and other food that they’d prepared but now they absolutely love it.”

Garden to Table receives no Government funding, so Bell and her team are holding a fundraiser at the end of the month, with appearances from Nadia Lim, Al Brown and Boh Runga.

Singer and designer Boh Runga will be performing at Garden to Table’s fundraiser and she explains why she’s taking part.  

I think it’s a lovely thing to be involved with,” says Runga.

“To watch the children actually become very active in the garden and learn about things. Basically they’re preparing themselves for later in life.”

For more information visit the Garden to Table website