Proof it works

A Department of Health and Ageing funded evaluation of the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden National Program was undertaken between 2011-2012 by the Centre for Health Service Development at the Australian Health Services Research Institute, University of Wollongong.

The evaluation confirmed the positive impacts of the Program. Students found the activities of the Program to be a positive context for learning across multiple subject areas. 97.7% of teachers in the study positively responded in relation to classroom learning.

Read about the key findings here.

See the evaluation report on the Centre for Health Service Development's website here.

Earlier research findings

An evaluation of the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program was undertaken between 2007-2009, by a joint research team from the Faculty of Health, Medicine, Nursing & Behavioural Sciences, Deakin University and the McCaughey Centre: VicHealth Centre for the Promotion of Mental Health and Community Wellbeing, University of Melbourne.

Like the University of Wollongong research, the findings were extremely positive and demonstrated that the Kitchen Garden Program is encouraging positive health behaviour change in participating children. The evaluation also showcased the transfer of benefits to the home and the broader community.

Evaluation of the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program – Full Report

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Evaluation of the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program – Key Findings

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Program benefits

Stephanie says...

'We have now confirmed what we previously knew anecdotally.
The Program is effective in changing children’s behaviour
and response to food in a positive way.'

Kitchen Garden Kids...
  • Love cooking and gardening
  • Cook and eat new foods on a regular basis
  • Build self-esteem and trust through experience-based gardening and cooking activities
  • Integrate learnings from the garden and kitchen across the Australian Curriculum
  • Enjoy physical activity
  • Develop social skills
  • Learn about different cultures and traditions
Kitchen Garden Schools...
  • Provide an alternative learning environment for 'non-academic learners' and students with challenging behaviours
  • Have access to valuable Kitchen Garden Program educational resources, support, advice and staff training
  • Are recognised as valuable contributors to educational innovation
  • Create closer links with local communities and build community pride
  • Attract new families and increase enrolment
Kitchen Garden Families...
  • Enjoy new opportunities to grow, cook and eat food together at home
  • Make more meaningful connections with their school, community and environment