Success story of nutrition education through kids’ garden programmes after 15 years

May 2, 2023

Success story of nutrition education : There is a lot of talk in politics and culture about how to teach kids the importance of eating healthy and appreciating good food.

The EDEKA Foundation has been demonstrating how the implementation of this strategy may be successful for the past 15 years. She began executing her idea known as “Vegetable Beds for Kids” in 2008 at kindergartens and childcare centres all around the country. This year, the Rhine-Ruhr sales region will be responsible for the construction of more than 500 raised beds. These beds will be used by youngsters to plant, tend to, and harvest vegetables like as kohlrabi, lettuce, and other similar crops. They are backed up by more than 270 EDEKA outlets located around the region. There are plans for over 3,000 planting projects across the country.

Various degrees of enthusiasm for the project

The Kels merchant family, who owns EDEKA shops in Ratingen, Mulheim a der Ruhr, and Essen, has been active for a significant amount of time and tends the gardens alongside their offspring. “The engagement in the childcare centres is very essential to us because of the role they play in our community. The kindergartens are appreciative of the help they receive from us. We have found, time and time again, that certain youngsters do not always even know the names of the crops that they cultivate. According to Felix Theodor Kels, “This is the point where it is beneficial that we are starting with the project.” Volker Knodgen, a self-employed businessman based in Essen, Recklinghausen, and Bochum, is likewise certain that the initiative will be successful. He says, “The children learn where the vegetables that end up on their plates come from, how they grow, and how much care is important.” They gain a fresh perspective on the subject of food and learn to love it even more as a result.

The project is now ingrained in the routines of kindergartens and other early childhood education facilities as well as day care centres. For example, the Catholic day care centre St. Joseph in Mulheim a der Ruhr has been taking part in “Vegetable Beds for Kids” ever since its inception 15 years ago. Alexandra Arnold, who teaches kindergarten and acts as the deputy director of the school, makes the same observation every year: “When we buy lettuce, the children do not like to eat it as much as the lettuce or carrots from our raised bed.” The youngsters are really pleased with the veggies that they have personally planted. Alongside the traditional beginning of planting, many families now begin growing vegetables in their own backyards with the help of their children. Even eating patterns have been altered at the Catholic Kneipp® day care centre St. Stephanus in Essen as a result of the study. According to the information provided by Annette Kerkhoff, in the past the children brought their own breakfast to the nursery. As a result of the availability of the vegetable patch, we have created a breakfast buffet using vegetables that are in season, and we serve it to all of the children.

The “IN FORM” project, which is funded by the Federal Ministries of Food, Agriculture, and Health, includes the “Vegetable Beds for Kids” programme as one of its components. Over the course of the past 15 years, the project has engaged more than 1.6 million children, including more than 224,000 in the Rhine-Ruhr region.

More information about “Vegetable beds for kids” can be found atüsebeete-für-kids/übersicht/



Success story
Success story


Kerstin Holla

Corporate communications

EDEKA Rhein-Ruhr Stiftung & Co. KG