Above: reception children from Ark Atwood Primary school attend the launch of Westminster City Council’s edible garden.
Westminster City Council has launched a new ‘edible garden’ at Paddington Recreation Ground this week to encourage healthy eating and combat childhood obesity.
In Westminster, 21.6% of 4 to 5-year-olds are overweight or obese and that figure rises to nearly 40% by ages 10 to 11.
The newly planted fruit and vegetable garden will help local children learn about the benefits of eating a healthy diet through classes run by Sayers Croft and The Food Explorers who work with schools to engage young people in food education.
Westminster City Council’s Cabinet Member for Sport and Leisure, Cllr David Harvey joined reception children from Ark Atwood Primary School at the launch. He said: “We want youngsters to know about the food they eat and make healthier choices. Research shows that children who plant and grow vegetables are more likely to go onto a lifetime of healthy eating. This garden helps young people to understand that food doesn’t just come from a plastic packet in the supermarket. By making food education classes fun and engaging we can make a really positive difference.”
The edible garden is part of a wider forest school programme. The council project offers inner-city children from schools with limited access to their own playing fields or playgrounds a chance to experience nature. Children attend regular forest classes learning about the importance of the environment, wildlife and the great outdoors.