Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Background: Although there are numerous health benefits associated with eating fruit and vegetables (FV), few children are consuming recommended amounts. Gardening interventions have been implemented in various settings in an effort to increase FV consumption of children by expanding knowledge, exposure, and preferences for a variety of FV.
Objective: The purpose of this review was to identify the effectiveness of gardening interventions that have been implemented to increase FV consumption among children.
Methods: A systematic review was conducted using four electronic databases: Web of Science, PubMed, Scopus, and CINAHL. English language studies conducted in developed countries between January 2005 and October 2015 were included in this review. Included studies measured FV consumption of children ages 2-15 years old before and after implementation of a gardening intervention in a school, community, or after school setting. All study designs were included in this review. A total of 891 articles were identified through database searching and cross-referencing. After removing duplicates, 650 articles remained and were screened using inclusion and exclusion criteria. Twenty-seven full text articles were analyzed and 14 articles were included in this review.
Results: Of the 14 articles reviewed, 10 articles found statistically significant increases in fruit or vegetable consumption among participants after implementation of a gardening intervention. However, many studies were limited by the use of convenience samples, small sample sizes, and self-reported measurements of FV consumption.
Conclusions: Although the evidence is mixed and fraught with limitations, most studies suggest a small but positive impact of gardening interventions on children's FV intake. Future studies that include control groups, randomized designs, and assessments of FV consumption over at least one year are needed to advance the literature on this topic.
Savoie Roskos, Mateja R., "Increasing Fruit and Vegetable Intake among Children and Youth through Gardening-Based Interventions: A Systematic Review" (2017). Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Sciences Faculty Publications. Paper 859.