Farm to School Institute: Early Childhood Workshop


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Early Childhood workshop with Emily Jackson of ASAP and April Bosse of Asheville City Preschools.

Growing Minds' Farm to School Institute, November 10th 2012, UNC Asheville's Sherrill Center

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  • Known a child that was obese; grown a garden; seen okra growing; grew up on a farm; cooked with a child; know a farmer that’s gone out of business; picked blueberries; preserved or canned food; read How Groundhogs Garden Grew; eaten at a school cafeteria as an adult; tasted kohlrabi
  • Benefits: 1. Connection to community 2. Exposure to equipment, animals, plants, experiences, knowledge that teachers/regular classroom experience can’t provide (that the students may never have the opportunity to see). 3. Makes lasting memories. 4. Real life, rather than created environments.
  • Benefits of Gardens: Gardens are a real, not created environment, safe for children of all ages. 1. Nutrition Education—the sneaky way! 2. Hands-on learning through exploration 3. Students see concepts in action/real life, leading to deeper understanding 4. Students learn responsibility. 5. Encourages teamwork 6. Students get practice learning and observing outside (rather than just having outside time be playtime). 7. Leads to healthy physical activity (the garden dance, mixing soil, carrying water, etc.) 8. Most importantly, children eat the food they grow.Give them the Gift Cards Here.
  • Benefits: 1. Children learn to recognize and appreciate new and different foods 2. Children have opportunities to try new foods in a variety of ways. 3. Encourages teamwork and cooperation 4. Lessons are hands on and encourage exploration 5. Experiences are easily applied to home 6. Children gain self-confidencePoint out stickers in their notebooks.
  • Benefits: Fresh, delicious foods. Connections to local farms. Full circle eating/experiences.
  • It works.
  • -Farm to school connect local food producers and processors with the school cafeteria-Sometimes these cafeteria changes are complemented with food and garden-based education within the classroom, lunchroom, and community through activities such as garden-enhanced nutrition education and field trips to farms-End goal is generally to create lifelong healthy eating habits in children and work towards a more sustainable food system.-Infants through age 5, but generally focus on 3-5-May be ways to eventually spread Farm to Childcare to in-home child care, but for now mainly talking about….
  • - More so than any other age group, infants and young children rely on parents and caregivers to create their food and activity environments.-Parents and caregivers influence:-the availability and accessibility of foods-the structure of meals-meal socialization patterns-and the modeling of eating and physical activity behaviors. -This is a critical time to establish healthy eating patterns b/c :-children in full-time child care consume as many as 80% of their daily nutrients in child care-also, the eating and physical activity patterns established during infancy and the pre-school yearsare determinants of eating and activity patterns later in life.-The prevalence of childhood obesity has more than doubled in the past 30 years, with some of the most dramatic increases occurring in preschoolers. Pre-school children (ages 2-5 years) are the age group with the greatest increase in obesity of all age groups according to the most recent NHANES data:-14.7% are obese-16.1% are overweight. -only one percent of preschool-age children meet all of the dietary recommendations (Munoz et al, 1997) 
  • -Children’s preference for vegetables is among the strongest predictors of vegetable consumption-When children are provided with repeated opportunities to taste a new food we assist children in altering their reaction from rejection to acceptance--preferences are learned through repeat exposures; It takes 5 to 10 exposures to a new food for preschool children to become comfortable and familiar with its taste and texture
  • What else ASAP does to support local food and farms—Transition into Gardening Workshop.
  • -Farm to school connect local food producers and processors with the school cafeteria-Sometimes these cafeteria changes are complemented with food and garden-based education within the classroom, lunchroom, and community through activities such as garden-enhanced nutrition education and field trips to farms-End goal is generally to create lifelong healthy eating habits in children and work towards a more sustainable food system.-Infants through age 5, but generally focus on 3-5-May be ways to eventually spread Farm to Childcare to in-home child care, but for now mainly talking about….
  • Raised beds: One place to start
  • Point out other Farm to Preschool book list in notebook.
  • These can be indoor or outdoor garden stations. Tell them they are going to explore some garden stations at the end of the workshop.
  • Color Hunt: Explain the color hunt, point out the color hunt lesson plan plus the accompanying book. Pass out the color swatches.Candid Camera Activity: Pass out handoutSurprise BagPlace several objects from the garden in a sack. Have each child reach in to pull out an object, and using only the sense of sense of touch, name the object before pulling it out. (For example, the sack could contain several of the following items: leaf, rock, flower head, seeds, veggie, trowel, sticks, etc.).
  • Collecting different things from the garden to add to the bracelet, putting tape around their legs and letting them run on a farm field trip (or in high grass around the center or in part of the garden that has gone to see).
  • * Early Sprouts is a 24 wk Gardening and Nutrition curriculum for preschoolers created by Dr. Karrie Kalich at Keene State College in New Hampshire that aims to: o To increase young children's food preferences for healthy foods o To promote school and family-based dietary changes. o To reduce the risks of obesity. * centered around a working garden, but flexible enough to implement w/o a garden (seeds on windowsill)* The program addresses young children's inherent fear of new foods through multiple exposures to target fruits and vegetables: o Sensory exploration o Tasting sessions o Cooking activities o Family Recipe Kits*Book , which includes the curriculum as well as the research and methodology that went into creating it are available through
  • Why? Research studies shows that children often do not accept a new food until they have tried the new food up to 10 times. The more different ways students try new fruits and vegetables, the more likely they are to find a way they like it.
  • Walk them through the example with watermelon vs. cantaloupe.
  • Point out examples in their notebooks. Cucumbers, cabbage, tomatoes, melon. Do the tomato exploration and tasting.
  • Predict what the fruit or vegetable looks like on the inside! Do the green bean tasting here. Other mystery tastings: sweet potato sticks, turnips, kholrabi, broccoli spears.
  • Do the carrot stick tasting here.
  • Farm to School Institute: Early Childhood Workshop

    1. 1. Early Childhood/Farm to Preschool April Bosse Asheville City Schools Preschool/Early Head Start Emily Jackson ASAP Farm to School Institute
    2. 2. Stand up if you…
    3. 3. Local food in schoolsFarm field tripsSchool gardensLocal food
    4. 4. Farm toSchool =Exploringfood and farms throughhands-onexperienc
    5. 5. Farmer Classroom Visits and Field TripsAssistance connecting with farmersCurriculum connectionsTraining and resources for farmers and teachersThe HayrideMini-grants
    6. 6. School GardensSeeds and Gift CardsWeekly Garden Newsletter for EducatorsWorkshops and TrainingsResources and LessonsChildren’s Literature
    7. 7. Tastings and Cooking in the Classroom Stipends for food Assistance sourcing local Workshops and Trainings Recipes, lessons, and stickers Cooking equipment Growing Minds’ Best Practices Guide
    8. 8. Local Food for Meals, Snacks, Events Training and workshops for farmers on selling to school systems Resources for Child Nutrition Directors and Cafeteria Managers Get Local Materials Promotional Materials
    9. 9. Parent Comments“My son was so excited about “My daughter enjoyed thesecooking and eating new things projects and bragged about eatingin class. Since then he tries fresh veggies at the farm. Shemore types of food.” tried more raw veggies at home after the farm trip.” “My non-vegetable eating child came home saying he loved kale!” “I think it’s great for children to learn where food comes from, especially since this county once “He tried new things that produced a large number of crops without having tasted and families grew their own them at school he food.” probably wouldnt have had the opportunity.”
    10. 10. What is Farm to Preschool?Farm to School: Connects local food producers and processors with the school cafeteria or kitchen Food- and garden-based education in the classroom, lunchroom, and communityAges 0-5Childcare centers, preschool, Head Start, daycare centers
    11. 11. Why Farm to Preschool?– Early patterns are a determinant of later eating/physical activity habits– Dramatic increases in obesity among preschoolers– Low consumption of fruits and vegetables– Consume as much as 80% of daily nutrients in childcare– Rely on parents/caregivers to create food/activity environments
    12. 12. Farm to Preschool Research By age 3, many children develop dislike for vegetables and are reluctant to eat or taste them (Niklas, et al. 2001) Preference for vegetables in preschool children is a strong predictor of vegetable consumption (Birch, 1979; Harvey-Berino, et al. 1997; Morris & Zidenberg-Cherr, 2002).
    13. 13. Local food has aface, a connection, and a story
    14. 14. Gardening in the Preschool SettingPhilosophies and ApproachesGarden DesignTips and Technical InformationLessons and ActivitiesSustainability
    15. 15. Reasons Why Teachers Should Consider a School Garden Project• Addresses obesity prevention and increases physical activity• Addresses different learning styles• Builds sense of community within a classroom/school• Can improve behaviors• Establishes environmental ethic• Promotes hands-on, interdisciplinary learning• Motivates children to learn• Can be integrated across the curriculum easily• Teaches a good life skill/leisure time activity• Great way to integrate parent participation• Can easily be adapted to teacher’s comfort level
    16. 16. Philosophies Gardens are outdoor learning environments: Creating safe, diverse and developmentally appropriate outdoor leaning environments can offer benefits across curriculum and developmental areas.
    17. 17. Teaching by Doing Modeling is Key: Creating positive experiences in outdoor learning environments lies not only in the physical environment but with the modeling and behavior of caregivers.
    18. 18. Dig In!Let’s Get Messy! For preschoolers, gardening is all about involving kids in hands-on explorations. This means students allowing students to get dirty, dig deep into activities, turn over rocks, touch plants, and learn unfettered in a safe, dynamic outdoor environment.
    19. 19. Make it Edible Let’s Eat! The most successful preschool gardens include plants that produce leaves, fruit, and roots that kids can eat (rather than just flowers). Because children will eat what they grow, the school garden is the perfect vehicle for encouraging children to try new foods.
    20. 20. Garden DesignKeep it simpleUse recycled materialsBuild sensory areasMake it something YOU loveIntegrate shade and sitting areasCreate an interactive space
    21. 21. Keep It Simple
    22. 22. Prepare a site
    23. 23. Raised Beds
    24. 24. Beds Directly in the Ground
    25. 25. Garden in Containers
    26. 26. Using Recycled Materials
    27. 27. Great Garden Children’s Books
    28. 28. Garden Stations• Seed Station: sorting seeds, matching game with seed packets, guessing game with packets and seeds, pouring and touch• Herb Station: blind smell, herb crowns• Soil/digging station: sorting and observing soil, soil painting, exploring different types of soil (loam, clay, sand)• Water station: water wall, water mixing, pouring and funneling,• Insect Station: hay, rocks, leaves
    29. 29. Explorations• Make a garden collection bracelet• Go on a color hunt• Search for insects• Candid camera• Letter hunt• Surprise Bag
    30. 30. Seasonal Activities• Waking the garden for the season (when school starts or in the spring)• Putting the garden to bed (when school ends or in the winter)• Covering and uncovering the garden during cool months.• Solstice celebrations and how they relate to the garden (winter solstice—shortest day of the year, summer—longest day of the year)• Frost Observation
    31. 31. Harvest Time• Eat it!• Make snack with the harvest• Send it home with the kids• Share it with administration• Donate to people in need
    32. 32. Garden Resources Available
    33. 33.
    34. 34. Sustainability Involve parents and community Get plants, seeds, and amendments for free Get your administration involved Make a routine Enjoy it!
    35. 35. Recruit Help From the Community
    36. 36. Think Outside of the Garden
    37. 37. Farm to School TastingsA Farm to Preschool taste test is an event that offersstudents small samples of local foods, usually freshfruits and vegetables. Anyone can organize a Farm toPreschool taste test: teachers, school administration,a chef, a parent, food service staff, a school nurse,students, etc.
    38. 38. Why a Farm to Preschool taste test?• Provides students the opportunity to try a variety of foods, introducing them to foods that are locally grown and in season (and taste great!).• Facilitates a change in food choices, thus allowing new and local foods that are accepted by students to be integrated into school snacks and meals.• Creates positive food environments.• Encourages children to be more willing to try new foods and home and school• Is a fun and memorable experience.
    39. 39. Taste and Graph• Show several varieties of one fruit or vegetable• Make comparisons in how they look or feel• Taste them• Vote• Make a pictograph of the votes
    40. 40. Vegetable Explorations• Read a book about the veggie• Look at the veggie closely (with magnifying glasses)• Touch it, smell it, draw it• Tell a story about the vegetable• Learn more-fun facts, how it grows, how to cook it• Try it!
    41. 41. Mystery TastingWhat’s this vegetable? Tasting familiar vegetable in unfamiliar ways Tasting new and unfamiliar vegetables
    42. 42. Tastings as Snack • Collaborate with your food provider to offer suggestions for snack based on your tasting projects and curriculum. Can the food provider send carrot sticks, different types of apples, cucumbers, or other fresh fruits and vegetables for snack?
    43. 43. How much do tastings cost?For a class of 20 students:Cherry tomato tasting/exploration: $4Cucumber Exploration: $3Cabbage tasting: $3-4Sweet potato tasting:$2Apple tasting (Two months): $4-6Lettuce Tasting: $3Strawberry tasting: $3-4Total: $20-25
    44. 44. Community InvolvementWho can help with a tasting? Parents, chefs, college students, seniors, farmersWho can provide food for a tasting? Local grocery stores, hospitals, businesses
    45. 45. Contact UsTHANK YOU!Emily Jacksonemily@asapconnections.orgwww.growing-minds.orgApril
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