Dig in the Dirt for Health

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In yesterday’s blog, Mya wrote about the growing problem of type 2 diabetes in the United States and the link to cancer risk and to many other serious health disorders.

And you may have seen news reports about how doctors are finding type 2 diabetes in children – everyday more than 10 Americans under age 20 are diagnosed with this disease. Ten years ago type 2 diabetes in this age group was extremely rare.

Adults and children who are overweight or obese, have a family history of type 2 diabetes and are inactive are at high risk for the disease.

There’s no one answer that will solve this problem, but here’s an idea that is timely and can get children active and interested in healthy eating.

Try growing some vegetables or herbs and do it with a child or young person. About 1/3 of Americans who garden say one reason they do is to teach kids about gardening.

You don’t have to grow a garden as large as the White House garden (they grow over 30 varieties of vegetables) – you don’t even need a “garden.” Most Americans have a small growing space.

Kids (and adults) love to dig in the dirt, watch plants grow, harvest and eat the crop. Two for one – a little physical activity and interest in vegetables!

For step by step information on how to get started, visit The Taste Buddies, our website for children.

So far, I’ve planted lettuce (it’s up already!) in a window box and spinach in a large clay pot.

Let us know what you’re planting this year!


Author: Alice RD

Alice G. Bender, MS, RDN, is the Director of Nutrition Programs at AICR. She helps put the science of cancer prevention into action by providing tips and tools to choose nutritious and delicious foods. Alice has guided thousands of individuals to healthier lives through diet changes and choices.

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