Life Lab

Life Lab cultivates children's love of learning, healthy food, and nature through garden-based education.

Category : Cooking and Nutrition

Six Seed Trail Mix

Six Seed Trail Mix Make a good snack while thinking about plant parts, especially seeds, and perhaps doing some seed math in the process! 20 minutes, Ages 5+ A variety of edible seeds, roasted or raw, such as:  Pumpkin seeds Sunflower seeds Almonds W [...]

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Seed Mix


Citrus Salsa

Citrus Salsa Delicious winter/spring salsa that will keep you returning to the salsa bowl! 30 min, Ages 5+ 4 cups peeled & finely chopped citrus fruit (oranges, grapefruit, mandarins) ½ cup finely chopped onion ¾ cup loosely packed chopped cilantro (sm [...]

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Citrus Salsa


Pesto Green Sauce

Pesto Green SauceA mouth-watering dip/spread/sauce full of flavor! 20 minutes, Ages 5+ Classic Basil Pesto:4 cups fresh basil leaves, packed½ cup grated parmesan cheese½ cup olive oil6 T. pine nuts or walnuts4 garlic clovesPlace all the basil leaves and garlic i [...]

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Green Sauce


Herbed Flat Bread

Herbed Flat Bread Use any fresh herbs you have on hand or in your garden to add flavor to a delicious whole grain flatbread. Mold the bread into any fun shape you want! 90 minutes, Ages 5+ 1 Tablespoon yeast 1 teaspoon of sugar  2 cups warm water 2 teas [...]

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Love Flat Bread


Soft Pretzels

Soft PretzelsTwist soft dough into your own designs and enjoy a hearty treat. 60 - 90 Minutes, Ages 2+ 1 package active dry yeast (.25 ounce or roughly 2 teaspoons)2 T. sugar1 1/8 teaspoons salt1 1/2 cups warm water4 cups all-purpose flour (Life Lab uses whole wheat [...]

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Pretzels


Veggie Roll-Ups

Veggie Roll-UpsRoll up your favorite veggies and dip or spread and slice to create yummy veggie art! 20 minutes Ages 4+ Fresh vegetables from the garden (Just about anything you have to harvest can work here. Nice raw options include beets, carrots, green beans, sn [...]

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Eating Veggie RollUp


Sun Tea

Sun TeaMake a refreshing garden tea with the power of the sun! 15 minutes prep. Ages 2+ 1 large glass jar with lid1 handful of fresh or dried mint leaves or other suitable plants, or a combination (examples: lemon balm, peppermint, spearmint, chamomile, rose hips [...]

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Sunny Sun Tea


Kale Smash

Kale Smash Kids of all ages can tear kale leaves and massage the kale along with avocado and lemon to make this tasty treat! Ages 4+ 30 minutes 2 bunches of Kale, such as Dino, Red Russian, etc., torn into bite sized pieces2 Avocados4 Tbsp. of Lime or Lemon JuiceSa [...]

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Smashing Kale


Honey Seed Snacks

Honey Seed Snacks Remember to thank the bees when you enjoy these honey and seed treats! Lots of fun for little hands to shape these into balls… or moon shapes… or worms! Ages 2+ 30+ minutes ½ cup carob or cocoa powder ½ cup honey ½ cup peanut butte [...]

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Honey Seed Snacks


Garden Frittata

Garden Frittata A perfect spring meal using fresh or dried herbs, greens and other veggies you may have on hand Ages 5+. ~60 min 2-3 cups pre-cooked vegetables (could include garlic, onion, chard, kale, spinach, artichoke hearts, peppers, zucchini, potato, brocco [...]

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Frittata


Garden Green Smoothies

Garden Green Smoothie Blend some fresh greens and fresh or frozen fruit to make a yummy smoothie, and toast to the garden! Ages 2+. ~30 min 5 chard leaves, stems removed and coarsely chopped (or torn) or 1 cup of spinach leaves 1 cup water 1 cup plain yogur [...]

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Green Smoothie


Stone Soup

Stone SoupMake a delicious soup using what you have on hand. Best when each family member contributes a different ingredient to the pot, and even better when the Stone Soup story is told to kick off the cooking! Ages 5+ ~60 min+ 8 cups veggie broth 3/4 cup dried l [...]

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Stone Soup


Fruit Leathers

Fruit leathers, or a your kids may know them, fruit roll-ups, make wonderful, packable, healthy snacks year-round. Your kids will love turning freshly harvested fruit into mush, and then making that mush into fruit leathers. Apricots, apples, pears, berries, and plums a [...]

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Fruit Leather


Plant It, Grow It, Eat It! Workshop Teaches Garden-Based Nutrition

View this article in the Santa Cruz Sentinel By Devika Garg-Bansal SANTA CRUZ >> Kids and vegetables are not exactly best friends. Parents know this all too well, as do restaurants that put out mac and cheese on kids' menus. Getting kids to have a healthy bal [...]

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educators in the garden


1,700+ Educators Trained in California School Garden Training Program

The California School Garden Training Program (CSGT) trained 1,729 educators from 2012- June, 2014. It includes workshops on Creating and Sustaining Your School Garden (CSYSG) and Garden-Enhanced Nutrition Education (GENE). CSGT also conducts Train-the-Trainer Works [...]

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Common Core in the Garden

Here at Life Lab, we have cross-mapped every lesson in The Growing Classroom with the new Common Core Math and Language Arts standards and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) being rolled out in schools across the country! We&# [...]

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kids in the garden measuring plants


Summer 2012 Newsletter

  You don't want to miss our Summer 2012 Newsletter. In This Issue Garden Tips and Educator Resources Seed Saving Resources and Video Growing Questions - Inquiry in the Garden Teaching at a Farmer's Market Recipes: Zucchini Baba Ganoush and More Disc [...]

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Garden Recipes – Zucchini Baba Ganoush and More

Between our summer day camps and "Food, What?!" youth program we are cooking all summer long, literally.  Here's a sample of some of what we eat: Download Garden Sprouts Summer Camp Recipes: Pesto Pesto Ranch Dip Honey Seed Snacks Green Gard [...]

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Spring 2012 Newsletter

  View Newsletter View Archives     Garden Tips and Recipe Make a Human Sundial Edible Crop Planning Recipe - Kale Salad Program Updates The Book of Garden Projects for Kids Update on the California School Garden Training Program In the Community S [...]

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2012 ~ Family Gardening Book

Order Now View front and back cover [...]

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2012 Winter Newsletter

You don't want to miss our Winter 2012 Newsletter. In This Issue Garden Tips and Lessons Lesson - Six Seed Trail Mix Making Garden Signs - Tips and Photos Lesson Packet - Feeling Fine With Fresh Foods Recipe - Winter Squash Teacakes  Program Up [...]

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Feeling Fine with Fresh Foods Lesson Packet

Feeling Fine With Fresh Foods Lesson packet from our Feeling Fine with Fresh Foods Field Trip. Our winter field trip helps students make the important connection between their health and the foods they choose. Classes explore our Garden Classroom and the UCSC Farm, and [...]

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Six Seed Trail Mix

A great extension to a seed study lesson. Make a trail mix of edible seeds while students practice math skills. While eating your trail mix discuss all the ways we eat seeds and grains. Download seed cards and lesson. [...]

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Camp Chicks!, Photos, and Recipes

Day Camps 2011 Click to View Album Our summer day camps are coming to a close. Foggy mornings and sunny afternoons have framed great days of exploration, harvest, cooking, crafts, farm chores, and fresh-fruit-pop-sucking-story-time. Two chi [...]

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My Edible Garden

Garden on a CrackerDesign your own mini, edible garden using crackers, hummus, and fresh vegetables and herbs. Age 6+ ~30 minThis is our favorite go-to garden recipe because it is fun, inspires creativity, and encourages kids to try new things!  You will need rice [...]

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Cookin’ With Kids

There are lots of activities that can be really beneficial to your children such as getting a tennis coach for beginners, but research on nutrition education and cooking activities with kids consistently point to positive and lasting affects on their perception of foo [...]

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Chard, Eat It!

Not only is chard a delicious and amazingly healthy addition to any dish, as evident in all of the following recipes, it is also easy to grow in most regions. A great source for tips in starting your very own chard patch can be found at Organic Gardening. The history of [...]

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Project Food Lab Video

They really have something great going at Pacific Elementary School in Davenport, CA. Since 1984 the Food Lab Program, in cooperation with the school's Life Lab Garden Program, has been cooking the school lunch for students and staff! [...]

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6 days ago

Life Lab

🌱Moment of the Month🌱

Life Lab Summer Camps are always a beautiful and nurturing way to share the interconnections of nature with children. Although our campers could not join us in the Life Lab Garden Classroom this summer, we wanted to make it possible for them to have fun at home! So our camp team assembled Summer Activity Care Packages full of materials, recipes, and advice for 225 children who had already registered for camp. They then carefully and lovingly hand delivered them to each family, occasionally getting to say Hi! from a safe distance, too.

"Thank you so much!! I have tears in my eyes. Thank you for pooling your ideas together for non-screen fun and learning opportunities. We can’t wait to dive in!
With much gratitude,"
Ellie

We are grateful to each and every camp family for their kindness, generosity, and patience as we all navigated the new realities of this year. As a community, the camp families even donated more than $12,000 of their camp fees towards ensuring that Life Lab will continue cultivating children’s love of learning, healthy food, and nature through garden-based education during this challenging time.

While we cannot deliver care packages to everyone in our broader Life Lab community, we hope that our growing BackPocketLearning.org website will help families seeking simple, fun, nature based activities and healthy family recipes to enjoy together at home this summer!🌈🐝🌻🌞

#lifelabmomentofthemonth #mylifelab #lifelab #summercamp #summerfun #gardenbasededucation #gardenlife #garden See MoreSee Less

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2 weeks ago

Life Lab

Our “Share Your Garden Saturday” video series continues with a sweet share from Emma Christie in the Life Lab garden at Starlight Elementary School in Watsonville🌸#shareyourgaredLL #school gardens PVUSD Food & Nutrition Services #LifeLab AmeriCorps See MoreSee Less

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2 weeks ago

Life Lab

In love with our @reneesgardenseeds flowers❤️thank you Renee for years of support & providing seeds for Life Lab gardens. We appreciate you! #reneesgardenseeds #lifelab #outdooreducation #gardensofgratitude #schoolgardens See MoreSee Less

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3 weeks ago

Life Lab

“Education is a practice of Freedom” #emancipation #juneteenth #americanhistory #blackhistory #teachablemoments See MoreSee Less

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3 weeks ago

Life Lab

Happy National Eat Your Veggies Day!😋🥕

To celebrate today we wanted to share some of our impacts this past school year. In our seven PVUSD Partner Elementary Schools, 98% of kindergarten, 1st and 2nd teachers reported that the Fall 2019 NGSS in the Garden programs improved their 1,900 students’ attitudes towards fresh fruits and vegetables, their emotional well-being, and their connection with nature.

Our Kids Cook presentation brought exciting hands-on cooking and healthy eating to more than 1,500 3rd, 4th and 5th graders at these schools, too, in January, February and March. In tastings surveys 72% of the children reported liking or loving the fresh, healthful foods they ate, with 63% said they were trying a new fresh produce item for the first time.

278 second-graders from our partner schools enjoyed hands-on learning in field trips to our Blooming Classroom this school year. 59% reported tasting new healthy food items for the first time in lesson-based tastings, and 70% said they loved or liked what they tasted.

We would also like to remind you to eat a rainbow 🌈🥗

A diverse and colorful diet nourishes a strong and healthy body. All fruits and vegetables contain different combinations of vitamins, minerals and nutrients. In addition, they contain phytonutrients, which give fruits and vegetables their vibrant colors and also play a wide range of roles in keeping our bodies healthy.

Thank you to our partners and sponsors for making this work possible. @sagegardenproject @pvhealth @pajarovalleyusd
@unfi @foodcorps

#eatyourveggies #EatYourVegetablesDay #mylifelab #vegetables See MoreSee Less

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3 weeks ago

Life Lab

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3 weeks ago

Life Lab

Life Lab Stands With Black Lives.

The injustice of systemic racism must end. Our work at Life Lab to foster empathy, love and inclusion with the children who are the next generation will continue, and it is no longer enough. This painful moment is an opportunity and a catalyst for us to take the next steps to more purposefully weave antiracist learning into all that we do.

This is a time of active learning for us, as we listen and dig deeper into Life Lab’s part in historical and present-day oppression. We see opportunities to provide foundational antiracist lessons and experiences more intentionally throughout our curriculum and programs, joining with others who are on this path.

There are seeds of hope in this moment that we can nurture in garden classrooms. Our work with children, educators and schools can motivate actions, large and small, individual and collective, to help create real change for a more just society.

Black lives matter, and Life Lab commits to countering racism through education and love.

We know this process will include learning, unlearning and relearning. We welcome this collaborative work, and we will report back to you on our progress.

~ The Life Lab Team See MoreSee Less

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1 month ago

Life Lab

🥕Meet Cara, our Garden Programs Manager!🥕

Cara began her current position at Life Lab in 2014, but has worked with Life Lab in a variety of roles since 2007. While going to school at the University of California Santa Cruz, she found her calling to be an outdoor educator while interning at Life Lab in the field trip teaching program. Graduating from UCSC with a B.A in Environmental Studies and a minor in Anthropology, Cara brings 12 years of education experience to her position, specializing in environmental education and professional development for beginning educators. Growing up in Chicago, she jumped on opportunities to volunteer and work at learning institutions, such as the Evanston Ecology Center and the Field Museum of Chicago. Cara moved to Santa Cruz in 2003 and loves living in a community that appreciates healthy living, eating well, and the natural world. When she is not hard at work, she is hard at play, hiking, dancing, cooking, traveling and doing yoga.🥘🌎😁 See MoreSee Less

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2 months ago

Life Lab

Our “Share Your Garden Saturday” video series continues with a sweet share from Abby Hauth at the Life Lab garden at MacQuiddy Elementary🌸 #shareyourgardenLL #schoolgardens #lifelab @foodcorps @pvusdschoolfood See MoreSee Less

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2 months ago

Life Lab

Eat a Rainbow this Memorial weekend! Fruits & veggies provide nutrients essential for good health 🌈🥗💪🏽 #chard #carrots #schoolgardens #lifelab #eatarainbow #nutrition #gardeneducation #teachtheyouth See MoreSee Less

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Life Lab provides truly inspiring training. Their breadth of experience, joy for teaching, and commitment to sharing knowledge highlight the best practices in food and garden education.
Erica CurryTraining and Professional Development ManagerFoodCorps
Thank you for such a wonderful field trip experience! Your leaders did such a great job at keeping our kids engaged.
Sheila BrickenKindergarten TeacherSan Lorenzo Valley Elementary
Terry had another awesome two weeks at Life Lab. I think he learns more there than in any other part of his year. School is great, but he’s passionate (and often dogmatic) about what he learns there.
Tara NeierCamp ParentSummer camp mom
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