Friday, October 18, 2013
While it's not as exciting as James Bond, my most recent mission accomplished happened right before the birth of my second child. Yes, I finished my Masters in Dietetics. Why am I writing about this? Because I think you will like my final research paper topic, "Do School Gardening and Nutrition Education Improve Children's Nutritional Intake and/or Health Status? A Systematic Review." See, right up your ally!
Did I know what a systematic review was before writing this paper - nope. In a nutshell, I did my best to look at all the research between 1990 and 2012 which included info on children, gardening, nutrition education and their intake.
Here's what I learned...kids nutritional intake is impacted positively by gardening, specifically gardening combined with nutrition education (surprise, surprise folks). One study found that kids ate a half cup more produce daily when they were involved with gardening. If a half cup doesn't sound like much to you, try following a dietitian for a day. Trust me, it's an accomplishment to impact kid's intake that significantly.
All in all, 13 studies showed positive impact on nutritional intake (yes, almost 100% of studies were pro-gardening), two studies showed positive impact on activity, and four showed positive impact on adult perceptions of the impact of gardening. I love that the kids who might not be good at basketball, track, or volleyball, can find an activity outlet through gardening. What a great way to be physically active!
Yes, there is much more to share, but I'll spare you all the details. If you're really interested I'd be happy to share the whole paper with you - just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And now for the best part about completing my masters...a homemade Oreo ice cream cake made by Mr. Chef. Local, no. Tasty, yes!