Taste tests in the classroom are just one way to continue Farm to Preschool activities all year round. Find more suggestions for wintertime activities below.
Photo courtesy of North County Community Services, Oceanside, CA

In this issue:
  • New research supports Farm to Preschool programming
  • Wellness policies strengthen Farm to Preschool efforts
  • Activity spotlight: Farm to Preschool activities for all winter long
  • New research

    Two new publications in peer-reviewed journals highlight Farm to Preschool programming. Eat Healthy, Stay Active!, based in Los Angeles, found significant weight loss in children and parents in their five state pilot Head Start program, which included on-site farmers' markets, sprouting activities, and preschool gardens. Farm to Family, based in Boston, highlights a pilot program that brought subsidized farm shares to urban Head Start sites.

    Find more research, publications, and presentations on our website.

    Wellness policies strengthen Farm to Preschool efforts

    The wellness policy plays an integral role in the Farm to Keiki Preschool Program and acts as the root that stabilizes the school's wellness efforts… At the end of the year, all of the preschools who adopted the Wellness Policy reduced the amount of unhealthy foods served in their preschool and increased the amount of fresh fruits and vegetables served to their students via healthy activities encouraged by the Wellness Policy including: fresh fruit and vegetable taste tests, cooking activities, school gardening, and meal improvements.
    —Tiana Kamen, Farm to Keiki

    Does your program or center have a wellness policy? Working with staff, teachers, parents, and other care providers to create a wellness policy helps get everyone on the same page, whether you're just starting out, or have been doing Farm to Preschool activities for several years. If you already have a wellness policy, consider adding language that specifically focuses on local foods, Farm to Preschool, and school gardens. Find resources for creating a wellness policy of your own on our website, as well as two great example policies from Hawaii and California.

    Farm to Preschool all winter long

    Winter weather is rolling in, but that doesn't mean Farm to Preschool activities have to end. Use these fun indoor activities to continue educating children about food all year long:

  • Art projects: Art projects related to fruits and vegetables help children learn to identify new foods. Students can make a vegetable crown, or color a fruit and veggie crown print-out. Plan for springtime together by brainstorming some foods that children would like to taste or grow in the windowsill or garden.
  • Taste testing: Taste tests are an important activity to do all year round, since local foods change with the seasons. Let's Move! Child Care suggests hosting a dipping taste test: arrange bites of seasonal fruits and veggies with dips such as hummus, yogurt, and a low-fat dressing. Encourage children to become adventurous tasters, and vote on which combination of fruit or veggie and dip they like the best.
  • Physical activity: Help children create positive experiences related to fruits and vegetables by doing the Healthy Food March. After explaining that fruits and vegetables make us healthy and strong, you can call on children to name a healthy food as they march.
  • Healthy Food March
    1. Bring your left arm and left leg up
    2. Now bring your right arm and right leg up
    3. Keep marching! What is YOUR favorite fruit or veggie?

    And don't forget, local foods are available in wintertime, as well! Contact your local extension office, local farmers' market, or another food-related community organization if you’re wondering what’s in season in your area.

    Find more activities, resources, and curricula on our website.

    Don't forget!

    Visit our website for tons of Farm to Preschool resources and information. You can also submit your own events, news, or materials: farmtopreschool.org

    Our next e-newsletter will be sent out in January. On behalf of the Farm to Preschool Subcommittee, we wish you a wonderful holiday season!

     

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