The University of Maryland Extension (UME) Baltimore County 4-H program joined forces with the Agriculture, Food Supplement Nutrition Education (FSNE), and Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) Educators along with the Maryland Agricultural Resource Council (MARC) and Baltimore County Farm Bureau to deliver the Kids Growing with Grains program. Kids Growing with Grains was designed by members of UME’s Food Smart Impact Team and is recognized statewide as a program designed to help teach children agricultural literacy, nutrition, and science. The interactive Kids Growing with Grains program allows Baltimore County elementary school students to learn more about the foods they consume. Scotts Branch Elementary was the first school to participate in Baltimore County 4-H’s Kids Growing with Grains program and student’s left with new knowledge and lots of smiles!
On May 7th, Scotts Branch Elementary school’s 5th grade class had the opportunity to rotate around 7 interactive stations. The stations focused on agricultural literacy, corn uses, grain nutrition, grain science, cooking, and nutritious diets for animals. It also involved a grain scavenger hunt to better understand nutrition labels. Kids Growing with Grains gave the children the chance to learn where their food come from and why grains are an essential portion of their diet.
The students enjoyed the day on the farm and they especially loved the opportunity to make healthy whole wheat pizzas in our Ag Center kitchen. At the end of the day, students shared new knowledge about Maryland agriculture and how grains affect their organ systems in the body. The students even had the chance to visit a few of our animals here on the farm. One of the students shared, “I learned that on bagged products and such, they sometimes only tell you HALF, of the servings, sodium, etc.”. Another student stated, “I learned that wheat is popular in the U.S. Also I learned that soda and chips have different kind of corn [products] in them.” Another student exclaimed “What I learned is corn can be made into many products and things!”
Kids Growing with Grains is a program that will surely have an impact on hundreds of students throughout Baltimore County. We are excited to continue to offer the Kids Growing with Grains programs in the fall. The Scotts Branch 4th grade class, Hallstead Academy and Pleasant Plains will soon have a chance to experience the fun-filled day as they visit the Center for Maryland Agriculture and Farm Park this Spring and Fall!
By: Faradia Kernizan, MOST intern.