SAN ANTONIO — Parents of picky eaters know it can be a challenge getting their kids to eat healthy meals. A garden program at Pre-K 4 SA has students excited and curious about their nutrition.

The 4-year-old boys and girls attending the south campus of Pre-K 4 SA enjoy their outdoor time, bugs and all. Not only do they get to burn off some of their energy in the outdoor classroom, they’re also learning how to fuel their bodies. The garden program is a fun and educational way for the kids to explore a world of vitamin-rich produce.

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“What we found was our children really weren’t familiar with these vegetables and these fruits and that’s where the inspiration for these learning gardens really occurred,” said the Pre-K 4 SA south campus Director Belinda Gonzalez.

This is the second school year with dozens of garden beds offering an abundance of produce. Students spend at least 45 minutes a day in the outdoor space. Once their seedling are ready for planting and the herbs and vegetable mature, the kids get to sample the fruits of their labor.

“A lot of kids have developed the newer taste buds. They’re liking the swiss chard and liking the kale and the teachers are taking it into the classrooms and baking with them so they can make kale chips,” said Teacher Rachel Cavazos. “We have tons of herbs here so the children also learn how to make their own pizza sauce and spaghetti sauce.”

The impact of the program reached beyond the garden fence. Some of the student’s families have planted seeds at home and learned new recipes from school demonstrations. With all senses part of the nutrition lesson, students are bound to find a new favorite food.