Pupils grow their own fruit and vegetables in South London

Credit: Alex Indigo (Flickr)

Credit: Alex Indigo (Flickr)

Schoolchildren in South London have been offered the chance to eat the produce they cultivate as part of a programme aimed at healthy eating.

Students at four schools in Croydon will be taught how to grow their own fruit and vegetables, under the Edible Playground project.

This new programme is aimed to promote healthy eating habits amongst children to tackle wider problems such as obesity and food poverty.

Trees for Cities, a charity wishing to inspire children to grow and eat good food, has provided funding to schools to take part in this programme.

David Elliott, chief executive of Trees for Cities, said: “Our Edible Playground community is growing across the country, addressing several key areas of concern around children’s health.

“The community teaches pupils about nutrition, encourages physical activity, and shows that healthy food can be the easy choice, in and out of school.”

This initiative has been implemented in the following schools: Rockmount Primary, Fairchildes Primary, Meridian High and St Giles’ School.

Earlier this year, pupils learnt how to prepare the soil, sow the seeds and potting plants.

Yesterday was the opening of the shared Edible Playground at Fairchildes Primary and Meridian High schools.

Councillor Louisa Woodley, cabinet member for families, health and social care, said: “We are grateful to Trees for Cities and its partners for the opportunity to create these amazing edible playgrounds in Croydon schools. Together with the borough’s food flagship programme, this initiative helps local children to better understand the importance of eating nutritious, healthy food.

“It will be great to explore the new playgrounds and also to hear from the children about the different produce they are growing, as well as how they are cultivating the space to enable new crops to grow.”

Other organisations partnering in this project are School Food Matters, a charity supporting sustainable food at schools, and Chefs Adopt a School which sends chefs to schools to teach children cookery.

Croydon is one of the boroughs awarded flagship status last year by the Mayor of London to encourage people to grow and eat healthier food.

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