Step 1: SEEDed Program Description


SEEDed is a garden-to-plate nutrition literacy program for elementary school children. It is a school-based program that aligns with current academic standards and lives within the curriculum; it supports the premise that “mental health and physical health are inseparable. Successful prevention is inherently interdisciplinary” (NAHS, p. 19, 2019). 


SEEDed will enrich and support grade-level standards while increasing food literacy and fruit and vegetable (FV) consumption. This program includes a gardening component to help students gain awareness of different varieties of FV and their lifecycle, experience translating knowledge into practice, and connect with FV from seed to plate.  


SEEDed’s mission is to – Empower children to self-manage their food choices and increase their FV consumption. Children will used it to develop FV self-efficacy. The school will use it to support its mission to develop each child physically – The overarching objective of SEEDed is to enhance the intended audiences’ sense of power to gain control and work towards decreasing the identified health risk behaviors of (1) not consuming enough fruits and vegetables (CDC, 2018) and (2) overconsuming sodium-rich foods (CDC, 2014). The program will incorporate the following interventions (1) food literacy, (2) gardening, (3) fruit and vegetable (FV) sensory exploration. All three interventions use collaboration, inquiry, and guided exploration. The theoretical framework that will serve as the foundation for the program is Social Cognitive Theory. According to Bandura (2004), an effective nutrition intervention includes (1) information; (2) developments in social and self-management skills; (3) builds a resilient sense of self-efficacy; and (4) creates social supports for the desired changes.



The ideally executed SEEDed program will include three activity categories (1) environmental changes (2) education and (3) communication.


Environmental changes

There are three main environmental activities intended to prepare the school for successful program implementation, that address both structural changes and environmental interactions. The environmental activities include (1) aligning the dining hall experience with the program mission, (2) increasing the size of the school-garden to maximize its functionality and FV output; and (3) designing a garden experience for every grade level. The environmental activities are designed to unite the community around the garden and support the classroom lectures through experiential learning opportunities. Students will develop a sense of pride and ownership over the school crops and increase their FV knowledge, self-efficacy and self-management.  


The environmental activities will be characterized by

·      Having a functioning school garden.

·      Students working in the garden and participating in the seed to plate process.

·      Incorporating school-garden grown crops into the school lunch and snack programs.

·      The school community working together and cohesively.



There are two core educational components intended to facilitate the inclusion of the SEEDed program into the school’s current curriculum that target successful program assimilation and enrichment of the staff’s nutrition knowledge and attitude. The education activities include (1) working collaboratively with teachers to find logical synergies between SEEDed content and current grade-level curriculum and standards, and (2) implement a personalized SEEDed professional development program for the school community. The education activities are designed to prepare the school for successful program integration and implementation.


The nutrition education activities will be characterized by

·      Cohesion between program content and school curriculum.

·      Having appropriate number of community members complete professional development training.

·      Effective team building.

·      Involving teachers, kitchen staff and administrators in the program onboarding process.

·      Clear understanding of roles and responsibilities.



There are two main communication activities intended to rollout the program and engage the school community.  These include (1) uploading the program handbook to the school website, under the SEEDed tab and requesting a parent electronic signature and (2) launching a program campaign across the school’s social media platforms. A successful communication plan outcome will return 80% of signed parent program handbooks and culminate with a kickoff school breakfast with parents, staff and students on the first day of the new school year. The community will be introduced to the school chef who will lead the community in a garden tour.


The communication activities will be characterized by

·      Timely dissemination of information.

·      Program campaign launch.

·      Consistent messaging across platforms including the biweekly newsletter, all social media platforms and the school website.

·      Parental engagement.






Bandura. A. (2004). Health promotion by social cognitive means. Health Education Behavior 31(2):143-64. Retrieved from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15090118/

CDC. (2014). Reducing Sodium in Children’s Diets. CDC Vital Signs. Taken from:



CDC. (2018). Nutrition: Why it matters.

Retrieved from: https://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/about-nutrition/why-it-matters.html


McKenzie, J, Neiger, B., & Thackeray, R. (2017). Planning, Implementing, and Evaluating Health Promotion Programs: A Primer. (7th ed.). Pearson Education, Inc.

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. (2019). Fostering Healthy Mental, Emotional, and Behavioral Development in Children and Youth: A National Agenda. The National Academies Press. Retrieved from: https://doi.org/10.17226/25201.


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