Daycare students plant vegetable garden, learn about healthy eating habits

MILWAUKEE -- It can be hard to get kids to eat their vegetables, but one Milwaukee daycare center took on a new project to not only get kids eating them, but also teach them some valuable lessons.

Digging in the dirt can be a lot of fun, but it's also a learning experience for the children at Ebenezer Child Care Centers. They're planting a vegetable garden.

"Even our toddlers were out there, our infants were out there with their teachers , digging holes and planting plants," said Leslie Hundt, with Ebenezer Child Care Centers.

The project is based on literacy. They're reading the book  "Growing Vegetable Soup" by Milwaukee author Lois Ehlert, rolling reading and healthy eating into one.

"Many of them they live in an urban environment,  so they don`t have an opportunity to dig in the dirt and plant something and produce something that they can then eat later," said Hundt.

Only the tomato plants are producing a few flowers so far, but the hope is by the end of the summer the entire vegetable garden is filled with things they can cook.

"Every day you should water it so that it can grow, so we can be more healthy, so when its done we could eat," said seven year old Ke'Morrah Blanco.

But the most important lesson is one on the process of life.

"I want that experience of seeing something from the dirt, and seeing the plant, and learning how to care for something, and take care of it, and nurture it, and see it grow," said Hundt.

"If you drop them they will be messed up," said Blanco.

There have been a few struggles.

"We planted a pickle and then the rabbits ate it," said five year old Yolynette Vega.

But it's all part of the lesson.

"I want them to see growth," said Hundt.

At the end of the summer the kids will all make the vegetable soup from the book. About 100 children at Ebenezer Child Care Centers are part of the project.