Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Youth Exploring the Relationship between School Gardens, Food Literacy and Mental Well-Being Using Photovoice

Version 1 : Received: 18 April 2019 / Approved: 22 April 2019 / Online: 22 April 2019 (10:29:32 CEST)

How to cite: Lam, V.; Romses, K.; Renwick, K. Youth Exploring the Relationship between School Gardens, Food Literacy and Mental Well-Being Using Photovoice. Preprints 2019, 2019040229 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201904.0229.v1). Lam, V.; Romses, K.; Renwick, K. Youth Exploring the Relationship between School Gardens, Food Literacy and Mental Well-Being Using Photovoice. Preprints 2019, 2019040229 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201904.0229.v1).

Abstract

The goal of the project was to gain an understanding of the secondary school youth experience with food literacy and school gardens on their mental well-being. Over the course of five months, sixteen youth participated in a photovoice research project in which they expressed their personal experiences about food and gardening through photography and writing. The aspects of secondary school youths’ life experiences affected by exposure to food literacy and school gardens and their impact upon their well-being were identified. These included emotions and feelings, having a safe place, nutrition and relaxation. The youth explicitly connected relaxation with the themes of love and connectedness, growing food, garden as a place, cooking, and food choices. This was linked to nature, beauty, environment and sustainability. Youth clubs or groups were also identified as a key enabler for connection. Youth shared their food literacy experiences, observing that their engagement improved some aspect of their mental well-being. They identified food literacy and gardens as being the most important to mental well-being including: connecting, personal health and personal growth. The youth recognized that connecting comes from having community, relationships and respect. Fostering opportunities for food literacy such as growing and preparing food contributes to resiliency.

Subject Areas

mental health; food literacy; photovoice

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