Grow a Rainbow with Your Kids!

Contact: Charlie Nardozzi
National Gardening Association
(800) 538-7476, ext. 105
Charlien@garden.org

So. Burlington, VT (January 15, 2008) -- National Gardening Association (NGA) wants you to think SPRING -- NATIONAL GARDEN MONTH® (NGM) 2009 is just a few short months away! Our FEBRUARY STORYLINE builds enthusiasm for this month-long garden party each April.

Grow a Rainbow with Your Kids!

It's widely known that kids need to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables. But how do you make this fun and engaging for them? "Grow a vegetable garden," says Sarah Pounders, educational specialist at NGA. "Gardens motivate children to try new fruits and vegetables. Kids are eager to taste the fruits of their labor and quickly learn that those healthy foods are tasty, too. Eating fruits and vegetables is important for proper physical and mental development, but few children (or adults, for that matter) consume the amount recommended by current health guidelines. Gardening with your kids gets them excited about the plants on their plate and provides you with a bountiful supply of fresh produce."

Many of the pigments responsible for the color of fruits and vegetables are also linked to different health benefits. Plants have pigments to protect them from environmental factors (such as sunlight) and from harmful byproducts of plant processes like photosynthesis. When we consume fruits and vegetables, we receive benefits from these pigments that are similar to what they do for the plant -- we get protection from environmental factors and cell-damaging chemical byproducts. Because of this, nutrition educators came up with a simple message: Eat a Rainbow. By eating a variety of fruits and vegetables in all different colors you maximize your health benefits. So this summer, grow a garden filled with red, yellow/orange, green, blue/purple, and white vegetables and have your kids eat a serving of each color every day.

April is National Garden Month. Get ready for spring with National Gardening Association. For this month's complete storyline and to download a print-ready photo, visit www.nationalgardenmonth.org

Gardening statistic:

NGA Youth Garden Grant Winner FirstHealth of the Carolinas in Pinehurst, NC found that more than 90 percent of parents reported that their children eat more fruits and vegetables as a result of participation in their garden program.

About the National Gardening Association:

The National Gardening Association (NGA), founded in 1973, is a national nonprofit leader in plant-based education. NGA offers the Web's largest and most respected array of online gardening content, serving a broad audience of consumers. The organization acts as an interactive hub supporting the needs of gardening novices and experts alike, as well as providing educators with curriculum, publications, grants, and professional development tools. Visit www.garden.org and open your eyes to a world of lifestyle possibilities through gardening.

Businesses: To participate in NGM '09, please contact busdev@garden.org.

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