'Nutri-garden-2-fork project': catching them young!

We influence children’s consumption of nutritious local green leafy vegetables through hands-on gardening, nutrition education and recipes.

Photo of Shirley
18 13

Written by

I confirm that I am fully aware of the eligibility criteria, and based on its description, I am eligible to apply to the CSV Prize 2017.

  • Yes, I'm eligible

Preferred language

  • English

Organization name


Year founded


Initiative stage

  • Growth (the pilot has already launched and is starting to expand)

Annual budget in 2017 (USD)

  • Less than $1k

Number of beneficiaries impacted so far

  • 100 - 250

Organization type

  • Nonprofit, NGO, or citizen sector

Secondary Focus Area

  • Nutrition

Headquarters location: Country

  • Nigeria

Headquarters location: City


Location(s) of impact

Nigeria: Ibadan

Problem: What problem is this initiative trying to address?

In Nigeria vegetable consumption, especially local leafy vegetables is low and knowledge of these vegetables is poor among children and adolescents in urban areas. They also have poor dietary habits - high fats, sugars, salts and highly processed simplified carbohydrate diets, which puts them at risk of diet related diseases (micronutrient deficiency, obesity, diabetes, cancers etc.) now and in their adulthood. This trend is rising because of the phenomenon of ‘nutrition transition’ in Nigeria.

Solution Summary: What is the proposed solution? What do you see as its most promising aspects for creating shared value?

Nutri-Garden-2-Fork is based on the urgent need to establish healthy eating during childhood (catch them young); as habits and skills acquired are carried into adulthood. We use gardening, nutrition education and food demonstration to achieve this. Hands-on gardening activities give the children opportunity to appreciate and participate in the processes that lead to production of their own nutritious and fresh local leafy green veggies and as a form of physical activity to stay healthy. Nutrition education using games, videos and role play teach them importance of vegetables for their health, growth and development; to encourage them to make healthy food choices. Food demonstration (cooking activities) enable them participate in preparation and tasting of simple, healthy meals with fresh veggies produced from the garden. This aids children's acceptance and willingness to consume meals with leafy greens; thus becoming change agents to influence healthy eating at home and to peers.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Specify both the social and the environmental impact of your work

To date, 41 children have participated in Nutri-garden-2-fork project. Produce harvested from the gardens have not only been used to teach the children improved recipes of their favorite meals, they have also taken the veggies home to their families. Mothers have acknowledged the change and asking behavior of their children with regards to increased acceptance of meals prepared with local vegetables and healthy meals. During the project, children are given vegetable seeds to start their gardens at home. Some families have established vegetable gardens through this means further fostering a culture of nutritious and fresh local leafy vegetable cultivation and consumption. Mothers reported being taught by their children how favorite meals such as noodles and fried eggs can be prepared with local leafy greens. Our project has not only influenced the children directly, it reached their families and friends because of increased knowledge, skill, asking behavior and self-efficacy acquired.

Financial sustainability plan: How is this initiative financially supported? How will you ensure its financial sustainability long-term?

Funding Sources: 50% from personal contributions; 44% from token project participation fees; 6% from sale of veggies at end of project exhibition and in a grocery shop. We presently receive collaborative support from the Teaching and Research Farm, University of Ibadan (provision of free garden space); Department of Human Nutrition, University of Ibadan (provision of classroom and kitchen facilities); and volunteers. We are presently seeking grant funds to expand the initiative to accommodate more children. We are making plans to own a permanent garden space to produce and supply local green leafy veggies to grocery shops in the city all-year round; and generate income for our activities while we provide nutritious and fresh local leafy veggies to nourish the wider community.

Unique value proposition: What makes your initiative innovative? How does your project differ from other organizations working in the same field?

The initiative not only trains children to plant their own veggie gardens through outdoor hands-on gardening activities, it has the added value of training them to positively make healthful food choice, which is expected to be transferred to later adult life for a healthy lifetime. This kind of behavioral model is a powerful creation of shared value that links agriculture, health, and nutritional lifestyle of society’s members.

Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that sparked the beginning of this initiative.

At an early age, I learned how to grow local vegetables in our family garden. This involvement influenced my preference and consumption of local leafy green veggies. As a nutrition scientist, I found that knowledge and consumption of local leafy vegetables was poor among children in urban areas, coupled with poor dietary habits. Children generally dislike green leafy veggies. I also found that those from households with veggie gardens were more likely to know and consume local leafy veggies. I thought there had to be a way to change the narrative with children. My ‘Aha’ moment was when I read a research article about a garden project for children that enhanced their fruit and vegetable consumption! I was inspired to design a similar project for children with a focus on local leafy green veggies. We launched the first pilot in August 2016, for five weeks. We are making good progress!

Where did you hear about the Nestlé Creating Shared Value Prize?

  • Other

Evaluation results

3 evaluations so far

1. Overall evaluation

5 - This idea rocked my world. It’s awesome! - 33.3%

4 - This idea seems really exciting. With a little more polishing, it’d be among my favorites. - 33.3%

3 - I think the idea is great, but it needs some work before it moves onto the next round. - 0%

2 - I liked it fine but preferred others. - 33.3%

1 - It didn’t make my heart beat faster. Needs significant revisions. - 0%

2. Innovation

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 0%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 33.3%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 66.7%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 0%

1 - This entry is weak here - 0%

3. Social and/or Environmental Impact

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 66.7%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 33.3%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 0%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 0%

1 - This entry is weak here - 0%

4. Financial sustainability

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 0%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 0%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 100%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 0%

1 - This entry is weak here - 0%

Nothing stands out! I thought it was great. - 0%

5. Potential to Scale / Replicability

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 0%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 66.7%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 33.3%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 0%

1 - This entry is weak here - 0%

6. Organizational Leadership

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 0%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 100%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 0%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 0%

1 - This entry is weak here - 0%

7. Potential for Creating Shared Value

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 33.3%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 66.7%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 0%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 0%

1 - This entry is weak here - 0%

Attachments (1)


This document is about the whole process of training the children to grow their vegetables to the preparation of the meals with the produce.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Ariyo Oluwaseun

This is a laudable project designed to catch the children young and promote healthy food behaviour, healthy food choice and build capacity for own vegetable production. This is particularly necessary in developing countries where children are increasingly exposed to poor food environment and recommended intake of fruits and vegetables is rarely met. This project deserves support and it is necessary to scale it up. The lesson delivery is achieved in an exciting and captivating way to sustain participants attention and commitment. This project has my vote.

Photo of Shirley

thank you for your encouraging comments

Photo of Bryan Raveen Nelson

Dear Shirley,

I just went through your application and really liked your idea. Your project is a needed initiative for vulnerable children. The idea in this project is very original and your effort is very genuine. Keep up the good work.

May I request some of your time to also evaluate the initiative constructed by our team because it lies in page three and up to now poor attention was received. To find the application, you will have to Select ‘‘PHASE> Prize entry’’. On the right section of page, under the heading ‘‘FOCUS AREAS’’ click on "WATER". Go to Page 3> Click "Evaluate" on application titled "Turning the tables for Temiar tribe of Malaysia". I would also appreciate if you either applaud us or leave a comment on our page if you deem us worthy.

Thank you very much.

Photo of Shirley

Thank you very much Bryan for your encouraging comments on our project.

I certainly will look up your project to evaluate it and make my comments.


Photo of Mouhamadou Moustapha Seck

Go ahead. Good work.

Photo of Shirley

Thank you Mouhamadou for your encouragement. It is much appreciated.

Photo of Mouhamadou Moustapha Seck

You are welcome and no need to thank me because the work besides sending a very noble message and is very well prepared. I wish you success. Bests regards.

Photo of FOLO Farms Malaysia

Keep up the good work! We focus a lot of our educational efforts FOLO Farms Malaysia  on children, believing in the greater impact that can be made through them. Would love to share our existing resources with you on children education on nutrition and farming.

Photo of Shirley

Thank you FOLO Farms for your encouraging words. We will be happy to partner with you. Your resources on children education on nutrition and farming will be most welcome and useful. Looking forward to more communications with your organisation. Thank you.

Photo of Docvee

As a medical practitioner, I am particular excited when I see efforts being made at eating healthy from a very tender age because I believe that's the key to preventing a lot of those diseases of idiopathic /gene - related origin that plague our world today especially in the adult years (diabetes, cancers, nutritional deficiencies...). So big Kudos Dr Ejoh

Photo of lucy nwobi

My kids participated in this program; now we have a garden at home and eat vegetables with at least one meal a day, sometimes two. my daughter is particularly thrilled to see how the seeds she planted have grown to be real edible veggies. Now she doesn't hesitate to eat them.
Thumbs up Shirley!!

Photo of Olutayo Shokunbi

This project is highly impactful especially on children that have participated so far. I have no regret for the time shared in coordinating one thing or the other during the second year of the project. All hands should be on deck to support this project for continuity and future benefits.

Photo of Simon peter akpan

I was a part of this initiative and I benefited alot in terms of how to grow the veges and also its the nutrients it gives ....it also served as an eye opener

Photo of Ifeloluwa Akinyinka

Promoting home gardening is a wonderful way to reduce micronutrient deficiency. It also helps people to eat healthy at a very low cost. Teenagers love hands-on experience and they will put their best into whatever they are taught that they can practicalise. It's a sort of 'it's mine, I'll put my best into it' mentality. They love opportunities to create things and they will never stop talking about the experience even for life; thus educating and encouraging generations to come.

Photo of Unity Henry Ejoh

This is a powerful initiative for creating Society's future today. I do hope though that a longitudinal feedback mechanism is being considered by the initiators of this project.

Photo of Alabi Adebowale

This is a very nice idea, this helped in correcting the aversion that children have towards consumption of local green vegetables. Since children are taught how to make gardens at their respective homes, this helped in increasing the availability and consumption of these vegetables. Also, the consumption of vegetables can be improved among parents through their children. I was opportune to be part of the team that educated the children on the importance of green vegetables. The children were glad and happy to learn and we received nice feedbacks

Photo of Isienyi

Since 2016 that we started this program, many home have been enjoying gardening with fun as children will plant, water and monitor their plants/ leafy vegetables every time. We have been enjoying our vegetable and okro, my own children enjoy eating it now because they see it as a friendly thing to eat after participating in the gardening program. Kudos to this team!

Photo of Nkeiruka

As someone who has seen firsthand the benefits of involving children and teenagers in the garden-fork process of food production, i think this is a wonderful avenue to change children's prexisting preception of local green leafy vegetables.