Growing Healthy Kids (GHK) is a garden-themed, nutrition education curriculum best aligned to Common Core Standards for students in 2nd and 3rd grades. GHK was developed at Oregon State University for use in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed) program of Oregon.
GHK includes seven (7) lessons with options for an outdoor, indoor, or hybrid (combination of activities from both mural and indoor gardens) garden, to give students opportunities to learn basic plant parts and try a variety of fruits and vegetables. Along with core journaling and gardening activities, lessons include food tasting activities, recipe print-outs, physical activity options, coloring sheets, and suggestions for supplemental storybooks to go with lesson themes.
The current version of GHK (5.0) was adapted and refined from the original curriculum, based on results from series of formative, process, and outcome evaluations. In 2016, an outcome evaluation of GHK 4.0 was conducted with third-graders in three schools in central Oregon. The study used a quasi-experimental, pre- and post-test design to compare GHK curriculum delivery with a series of food-tasting only nutrition education lessons. The evaluation found that students who received GHK curriculum exhibited significantly larger gains than the comparison group students on two important outcomes: the number of vegetables and fruits eaten, and their reported preference for a range of garden vegetables. GHK is considered evidence-based and practice-tested.
The GHK curriculum may be used free of charge, as long as Oregon State University Extension Service is credited appropriately: the Oregon State University Extension Service logo and a statement crediting Oregon State University Extension Service must appear on all handouts and other GHK materials.
For more information, please contact Rose Jepson-Sullivan.