Farm to Head Start in North Carolina and Oregon

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This presentation is from a workshop on farm to preschool presented at the 4th annual Farm to Cafeteria Conference held in Portland, Oregon in March, 2009. Presenters: Emily Jackson (Appalachian …

This presentation is from a workshop on farm to preschool presented at the 4th annual Farm to Cafeteria Conference held in Portland, Oregon in March, 2009. Presenters: Emily Jackson (Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project) and Stacey S. Williams (Ecotrust). Please do not duplicate without permission.

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  • 1. Farm to Head Start in North Carolina and Oregon Emily Jackson, Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project, North Carolina Stacey S. Williams, Ecotrust, Oregon
  • 2. Agenda
    • 1:45-2:00 Introductions and Icebreaker
    • 2:00-2:35 Introduction to Farm to Childcare, Our Projects, Others
    • 2:35-2:50 Group Exercise: Differences Between Pre-K and K-12
    • 2:50-3:05 Practical Skills for Cultivating Farm to Childcare
    • 3:05-3:15 Questions
  • 3. Farm to Childcare: An Introduction
  • 4. What is Farm to Childcare?
    • 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, in-home care
  • 5. Why Farm to Childcare?
      • Rely on parents/caregivers to create food/activity environments
      • Consume as much as 80% of daily nutrients in childcare
      • Early patterns are a determinant of later eating/physical activity habits
      • Dramatic increases in obesity among preschoolers
      • Low consumption of fruits and vegetables
  • 6. Why Farm to Childcare? Continued…
      • K-12 farm to school movement strong
      • Prepare preschoolers for farm to school programs as they enter K-12
  • 7. Why Head Start?
      • Vulnerable population
      • Industry leader
      • Parental involvement
      • Curriculum is experiential = a good fit
      • Connections with K-12
  • 8. Farm to Head Start in North Carolina
    • The Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project
  • 9.  
  • 10. Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project (ASAP) Mission - Our mission is to collaboratively create and expand regional community-based and integrated food systems that are locally owned and controlled, environmentally sound, economically viable, and health promoting. ASAP Vision - Our vision is a future food system throughout the mountains of North Carolina and the Southern Appalachians that provides a safe and nutritious food supply for all segments of society; that is produced, marketed and distributed in a manner that enhances human and environmental health; and that adds economic and social value to rural and urban communities.
  • 11.  
  • 12.
    • APPALACHIAN GROWN
    • certification program
  • 13.  
  • 14. Roof Top Garden at Battery Park Apts. – Farm to Seniors : Partnership with Council on Aging
  • 15.
    • School gardens
    • Farm field trips
    • Experiential nutrition education
    • Local food in schools
    Growing Minds Farm to School Program www.growing-minds.org
  • 16. CHEF FEST Teaching local chefs to cook with children in culturally and developmentally appropriate ways that are also linked to the Standard Course of Study
  • 17. Farm to Head Start Kick Off Event Everyone had a meal together. Then families cooked with a chef, planted the garden, and participated in other educational activities.
  • 18. SUPPLIES PROVIDED TO HEAD START CENTER
  • 19. TEACHER WORKSHOP Lessons learned from our experience shared with Head Start instructors from the surrounding area
  • 20. FARM FIELD TRIPS WERE A BIG HIT – THIS FARMER PROVIDED SOME OF THE FOOD FOR THE CENTER
  • 21.  
  • 22.  
  • 23. Head Start garden provided endless opportunities for “teachable moments”
  • 24.  
  • 25.  
  • 26. Cooking demos and classes highlighting locally grown food (great way to build excitement for veggies from the school garden!)
  • 27. Assistance to the child nutrition director: Helped with sourcing and provided a cooking kit
  • 28. Food and Children
    • School gardens - children WILL eat what they grow
    • Cooking classes and demonstrations – children WILL eat what they cook
    • And children, as adults, appreciate food that is pleasing to look at and is well-prepared with fresh ingredients.
  • 29. Farm to Head Start in Oregon
    • Ecotrust Food & Farms
  • 30. Ecotrust Food & Farms Program
  • 31. Oregon Farm to School and School Garden Network
  • 32. Harvest of the Month and Local Lunches
  • 33. Farm to Head Start in Oregon
    • Oregon Child Development Coalition
    • 3 pilot sites
    • Goals and activities:
      • Connections with local farmers and food processors
      • Increase local purchasing
      • Promote food- and garden-based education
    • Outcomes:
      • Create a replicable model
      • Stimulate new markets for regional farmers
      • and food processors
  • 34. Farm to Childcare Literature
    • 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).
    • Tasting new foods several times helps children to accept them (Birch & Marlin, 1982; Sullivan & Birch, 1994; Niklas et al., 2001);
    • 5 to 10 exposures to become comfortable and familiar with a new food (Sullivan & Birch, 1994; Niklas et al., 2001)
  • 35. Farm to Childcare Literature Continued…
    • Childcare providers influence eating practices of children in varied and complex ways (Niklas et al., 2002)
    • At some childcare centers, quality of meals is poor, and menus inadequate in key vitamins and minerals (Niklas et al., 2002)
    • Preschool children may accept a novel vegetable after exposure to positive messages (Byrne and Nitzke, 2002)
  • 36. Farm to Childcare: Current Programs
  • 37. Early Sprouts www.earlysprouts.org
  • 38. Farm to Preschool Pilot Program: Center for Food & Justice (UEPI)
    • Key components:
      • Nutrition education for preschoolers and parents
      • Fresh food access from local farmers and farmers’ markets
      • Rigorous program evaluation
      • Multimodal outreach to communities, preschools, and parents in Los Angeles and throughout the country
  • 39. Farm to Preschool Pilot Program: Center for Food & Justice (UEPI)
    • Project goals:
      • Facilitate a network exploring farm to preschool initiatives at the regional, state, and national level
      • Expand and evaluate new farm to institution models
      • Facilitate a demonstration site for hosting training workshops to interested preschools
      • Enable continued healthy fresh food access to preschool families after project end
      • Create a usable wellness policy for preschools
      • Ultimately reduce the prevalence of childhood obesity through early intervention
  • 40. From Our Farms http://gloucester.rcre.rutgers.edu/fchs/fromourfarms.html
  • 41. Growing a Green Generation http://horticulture.unh.edu/ggg.html
  • 42. Portland, Oregon: Harvest of the Month and Local Lunch
  • 43. Group Exercise: Differences between Farm to School in Pre-K and K-12
    • Discuss some the aspects that differentiate farm to school programs in pre-K vs. K-12 (challenges AND opportunities )
  • 44. Pre-K and K-12 Differences: Classroom
    • More parental involvement in Head Start than K-12
    • Head Start instructors may have limited educational background compared to K-12
    • Instructors are often required to do home visits, thereby strengthening the home to school connection
    • Services are provided to Head Start parents (health and nutrition, parenting, etc.)
    • Some Head Start centers are home-based rather than centralized K-12
    • Head Start classes usually smaller and have higher teacher to student ratio
    • Experiential instruction more widely used and accepted in Head Start
  • 45. Pre-K and K-12 Differences: Food Procurement
    • More regulations on what can be grown in children’s garden (Head Start)
    • Head Starts are a smaller market than K-12 for potential farmers
    • Ability for farmers and Head Start centers to establish closer relationship
    • May not have centralized distribution
    • No a la carte or choices
  • 46. Practical Skills for Cultivating Farm to Childcare Programs
  • 47. Farm to Childcare: Practical Skills
    • Finding a partner
    • Goal setting and program design
    • Steps to make connections with local farmers and food processors
  • 48.  
  • 49. Farm to Childcare: Practical Skills Continued…
    • Challenges:
    • More restrictions on what can be grown (night shades particularly not allowed – tomatoes, peppers, potatoes)
    • Physical outdoor environment more restricted
    • Establishing Head Start Gardens
  • 50. Farm to Childcare: Practical Skills Continued…
    • Establishing Head Start Gardens
    • Opportunities:
    • Of course, grow edibles!
    • Include a sand or soil box nearby (for kids that might not be tuned into the garden that day)
    • Plant with the senses in mind
    • Use lots of color
    • Consider planting fruit trees/bushes
    • Cook with what you grow or at least taste it
  • 51. Farm to Childcare: Practical Skills Continued…
    • Be a good role model – eat your veggies!
    • Invite the parents
    • Buy one of these
    • Experiential Nutrition Education
  • 52.  
  • 53. Farm to Childcare: Practical Skills Continued…
    • Farm Field Trips:
    • Try to go to the farm that supplies the food to the Head Start center (if applicable)
    • Make sure you have access to bathrooms
    • Dress appropriately and come prepared (water, name tags, sunscreen)
    • Provide authentic experiences – let the children do something real, like plant or weed or harvest
    • Make an inclement weather plan
  • 54.  
  • 55. Farm to Childcare: Practical Skills Continued…
    • Promoting complementary food- and garden-based education
    • Documenting and evaluating the project (Robinson-O’Brien et al., 2009; Joshi et al., 2008)
  • 56.  
  • 57.  
  • 58.  
  • 59.  
  • 60.  
  • 61. Thank you! Questions?
    • Contact Information:
    • Emily Jackson: [email_address]
    • Stacey S. Williams: [email_address]