Growing minds nourished with school-garden recipes

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In Photo: Schoolchildren gather string beans and radish for the cooking contest.

Healthy recipes for children that use produce from school gardens in Laguna elementary schools will soon be published by the Philippine government-hosted, Los Baños-based Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (Searca).

The recipes were gathered from cooking contests in five elementary schools in Laguna that serve as pilot sites of a school- and home-gardens program led by Searca in cooperation with the Department of Education (DepEd)-Laguna and the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB).

Participants in the cooking contests were tandems of parents and pupils in planning, marketing, preparing and presenting nutritious, tasty and affordable recipes.

The recipe book will feature local recipes that are vegetable-based but more palatable to young people. It is expected to supplement DepEd’s recipe books used in its school-based feeding program.

Searca Director Gil C. Saguiguit Jr. notes the importance of the school gardens in providing an alternative source of nutritious food for schoolchildren, as well as cultivating interest in agriculture among the youth.

The pilot elementary schools of the Searca-led school-gardens program are Majayjay Elementary School, Cabuyao Central School, Labuin Elementary School in Pila; Crisanto Guysayko Memorial Elementary School in Nagcarlan; and San Andres Elementary School in Alaminos.

Pedro Guevarra Memorial National High School in Santa Cruz is also a pilot school of the Searca-DepEd-UPLB Participatory Action Research on School- and Community-based Food and Nutrition Program for Literacy, Poverty Reduction and Sustainable Development program.