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Mar 10, 2023

How Did a Teacher GetHer Students to Enjoy Eating Their Veggies?

Parents, this question is for you. Has it been a challenge getting your children to eat their veggies? Do you have to sit and watch them chew and swallow their food so they don’t toss it out when you turn your backs? The truth is, eating vegetables is a challenge for both adults and children. But one teacher may have discovered the answer to make it enjoyable. Sabreena Daly shared the answers in this week’s look on the bright side.


Sabreena Daly, Reporting

Isela Tesucum, is an educator at San Jose Succotz RC School. She’s been in the profession for three decades. Over the years, this standard three teacher set out to experiment with the idea of getting her students to enjoy eating vegetables.

Isela Tesucum

Isela Tesucum, Teacher, San Jose Succotz RC School
“It all began with a learning outcome from the curriculum, the competency based curriculum. It asked that we do an experiment, a scientific experiment, and that we identify a problem in the community.”


After much deliberation, Tesucum considered the nutritional challenges faced when children avoid eating their vegetables. In a classroom of about thirty-six students, she would figure out a way to get them to enjoy their leafy greens.

Isela Tesucum
I realize that one of the biggest problems we are facing is that our kids don’t like to eat vegetables. And so I decided to come to school and run a test. And so when we tallied all the votes. Everybody had to vote for veggies or no veggies. We end up getting no veggies. We asked them the question and we said, what if you try to plant your own veggies? Maybe after the little veggie is out, maybe you will be excited to eat it. And this, they were all like, yes, miss, yes, miss, we should try it. I want to plant my own veggies.  We decided to plant. And with the hypothesis that if the student plant his own vegetable, he would probably be more motivated to eat vegetable.”


First, they had to prepare a compost pit. It’s easily the messiest phase of their DYI project which involved bringing food scraps from home for use as fertilizer. The young gardeners then transplanted the seedlings into bigger planters. The toughest challenge, however, was care and patience, as they prayed for a successful harvest.

Children pray for their garden
“Jesus, Mary and Joseph, please protect us and please protect our radish and tomato garden.”

Isela Tesucum
“So every child in the classroom has one little plant. And over the Christmas holiday, because we were not going to be in school, I had to ask them to take it home, look after the plant and make sure that the plant comes back in January. And it did happen. They did bring back their plants. And right now, we are fortunate that it’s the harvesting time and it is time now to prove our hypothesis.”

For Jiah Alfaro, her plant care happens during break and lunch time. She started with the smallest tree and now carries the pride of having the biggest and reaping over seven tomatoes.


“What has been the trick to making yours grow so fast? “

Jiah Alfaro

Jiah Alfaro, Student, Succotz RC School

“Nothing. Just take care of it. Like my mom sometimes bring Abono for it to help my tomato because it needs help to grow. All the leaves are damp because there’s too much sun. look at this one, the leaves are falling.”


“And who here did not like vegetables before planting their own?”


Kid 1

“I only loved tomatoes and pineapple.”

“And who here loves vegetables now that they planted it?”
Kid 1

“I love cucumber and tomatoes are my favorite.”



“Who can eat a vegetable raw? You can? What’s your favorite?”
Kid 2

“Tomatoes and carrots!”



“What has been your favorite experience of this? Has it been the harvesting? The compost? the waiting for it to grow?”

Kid 1

“The experience I liked was when we were getting our hands very dirty.”


Kid 2

“My favorite experience was harvesting the plant and getting to do a salad.”


Kid 3

“They feel proud of us because we didn’t like vegetable and now that we planted it, we like to start eating it now. So now we could start planting our own fruits and vegetables.”

Isela Tesucum
“They bring their salt and their pepper and they prepare their own salad in the classroom and they enjoy it. So that prove that if we put our children to grow their own veggies, They’re all excited and proud to put it on the table.”

Jenri Castanaza

Jenri Castanaza, Principal, Succotz RC School

Um, that is in our plans and for probably in next school year, we would start a garden where students can actually plant. And we are not looking at the business side of it, but probably just for students who have the vegetables to take home. Or, we could also start a small feeding program. We have some students that travel from the surrounding ranches. We have a group of approximately twelve students, so we can also use the available vegetables in the cafeteria.”


So while the theory was successfully proven, Tesucum shared that some students have realized a future in farming.

Isela Tesucum
Um, it has been a, something good, and I have spoken to them about, You know, you could be an agronomist when you get old. Agriculture is a good career. Being a farmer is excellent and I’ve been motivating them in every step of the way. And now they find it that, you know, being a farmer is something good and they dream about one day becoming an agronomist. So I have seen that it has been paying off.”

Sabreena Daly
“So now that we have answered our hypothesis on whether or not kids may like vegetables, if they grow it themselves, we also asked you guys about agriculture and the future. Who in here would like to be an agronomist?”





Looking on the Bright Side, I’m Sabreena Daly.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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