Get out and Grow sprouts for second year

Published 3:55 am Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Hy-Vee in Austin will launch its second season of the Sprouts: Get Out and Grow Garden and Cooking Program for kids beginning today.

Starting Wednesday and going through Aug. 22, area children will visit the garden weekly to learn more about vegetables and their importance in maintaining good health. They will explore vegetables using all their senses and assist in the preparation of healthy recipes using produce from the garden.

New this year is a partnership with The Hormel Institute to help solidify the connection of fresh fruits and vegetables to good health with fun, interactive activities.

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“We highly appreciate Hy-Vee’s interest in collaborating with The Hormel Institute to share our cutting-edge research and emphasize the importance of eating a variety of fruits and vegetables for your health to young children and their families,” said Dr. Zigang Dong, Executive Director of The Hormel Institute.

For nine weeks this summer, the Austin Public Schools Kids Korner Program, the Austin YMCA and other groups will join in weekly Sprouts classes. In each class, the focus will be on teaching kids ages 3 to 11 years old the connection of fresh food to good health, by learning how food grows and how vegetables can be fun and tasty foods to eat.

Jen Haugen, registered dietitian at the Austin Hy-Vee, will implement the second season of this program with new vegetables and new recipes. Haugen said Austin Hy-Vee was the first in the nation to implement this program. Because of the program’s success, Hy-Vee expanded the program to include over 40 other Hy-Vees. “Last year was a tremendous success, reaching over 80 children and helping each of them to a healthier lifestyle through exposure to new vegetables and fun in the garden,” Haugen said.

Classes will take place in the garden-style 40-by-60-foot classroom weekly at Hy-Vee. Additional afternoon classes will be offered.

Go online to for full schedule details and register through Austin Community Education by calling 507-460-1706 or online at under the Community tab.