This study assessed elementary school teachers’ perceived attitudes and barriers associated with school gardens, as well as the purpose and use of gardens in schools, specifically in relation to the link between gardens and nutrition. The questionnaire was mailed to California fourth-grade teachers at schools with gardens (N=1,665). The response rate was 36% (n=592). Teachers perceived the garden to be somewhat to very effective at enhancing academic performance, physical activity, language arts, and healthful eating habits. Nutrition was taught with the use of the garden by 47% of responding teachers. This research provides evidence for needed standards-based curricula materials and teacher training in relation to gardening and nutrition. The results from this study will contribute to development of needed resources and methods by which to encourage the use of gardens and nutrition education in schools.

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Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
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