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 Sustainable Agriculture Project) and Stacey S. Williams (Ecotrust). Please do not duplicate without permission.

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  • Farm to Head Start in North Carolina and Oregon

    1. 1. Farm to Head Start in North Carolina and Oregon Emily Jackson, Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project, North Carolina Stacey S. Williams, Ecotrust, Oregon
    2. 2. Agenda <ul><li>1:45-2:00 Introductions and Icebreaker </li></ul><ul><li>2:00-2:35 Introduction to Farm to Childcare, Our Projects, Others </li></ul><ul><li>2:35-2:50 Group Exercise: Differences Between Pre-K and K-12 </li></ul><ul><li>2:50-3:05 Practical Skills for Cultivating Farm to Childcare </li></ul><ul><li>3:05-3:15 Questions </li></ul>
    3. 3. Farm to Childcare: An Introduction
    4. 4. What is Farm to Childcare? <ul><li>Farm to School: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Connects local food producers and processors with the school cafeteria or kitchen </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Food- and garden-based education in the classroom, lunchroom, and community </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ages 0-5 </li></ul><ul><li>Childcare centers, preschool, Head Start, daycare centers, in-home care </li></ul>
    5. 5. Why Farm to Childcare? <ul><ul><li>Rely on parents/caregivers to create food/activity environments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Consume as much as 80% of daily nutrients in childcare </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Early patterns are a determinant of later eating/physical activity habits </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dramatic increases in obesity among preschoolers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Low consumption of fruits and vegetables </li></ul></ul>
    6. 6. Why Farm to Childcare? Continued… <ul><ul><li>K-12 farm to school movement strong </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Prepare preschoolers for farm to school programs as they enter K-12 </li></ul></ul>
    7. 7. Why Head Start? <ul><ul><li>Vulnerable population </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Industry leader </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Parental involvement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Curriculum is experiential = a good fit </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Connections with K-12 </li></ul></ul>
    8. 8. Farm to Head Start in North Carolina <ul><li>The Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project </li></ul>
    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.
    10. 12. <ul><li>APPALACHIAN GROWN </li></ul><ul><li>certification program </li></ul>
    11. 14. Roof Top Garden at Battery Park Apts. – Farm to Seniors : Partnership with Council on Aging
    12. 15. <ul><li>School gardens </li></ul><ul><li>Farm field trips </li></ul><ul><li>Experiential nutrition education </li></ul><ul><li>Local food in schools </li></ul>Growing Minds Farm to School Program
    13. 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
    14. 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.
    16. 19. TEACHER WORKSHOP Lessons learned from our experience shared with Head Start instructors from the surrounding area
    18. 23. Head Start garden provided endless opportunities for “teachable moments”
    19. 26. Cooking demos and classes highlighting locally grown food (great way to build excitement for veggies from the school garden!)
    20. 27. Assistance to the child nutrition director: Helped with sourcing and provided a cooking kit
    21. 28. Food and Children <ul><li>School gardens - children WILL eat what they grow </li></ul><ul><li>Cooking classes and demonstrations – children WILL eat what they cook </li></ul><ul><li>And children, as adults, appreciate food that is pleasing to look at and is well-prepared with fresh ingredients. </li></ul>
    22. 29. Farm to Head Start in Oregon <ul><li>Ecotrust Food & Farms </li></ul>
    23. 30. Ecotrust Food & Farms Program
    24. 31. Oregon Farm to School and School Garden Network
    25. 32. Harvest of the Month and Local Lunches
    26. 33. Farm to Head Start in Oregon <ul><li>Oregon Child Development Coalition </li></ul><ul><li>3 pilot sites </li></ul><ul><li>Goals and activities: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Connections with local farmers and food processors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Increase local purchasing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Promote food- and garden-based education </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Outcomes: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Create a replicable model </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Stimulate new markets for regional farmers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>and food processors </li></ul></ul>
    27. 34. Farm to Childcare Literature <ul><li>By age 3, many children develop dislike for vegetables and are reluctant to eat or taste them (Niklas et al., 2001) </li></ul><ul><li>Preference for vegetables in preschool children is a strong predictor of vegetable consumption (Birch, 1979; Harvey-Berino, et al. 1997; Morris & Zidenberg-Cherr, 2002). </li></ul><ul><li>Tasting new foods several times helps children to accept them (Birch & Marlin, 1982; Sullivan & Birch, 1994; Niklas et al., 2001); </li></ul><ul><li>5 to 10 exposures to become comfortable and familiar with a new food (Sullivan & Birch, 1994; Niklas et al., 2001) </li></ul>
    28. 35. Farm to Childcare Literature Continued… <ul><li>Childcare providers influence eating practices of children in varied and complex ways (Niklas et al., 2002) </li></ul><ul><li>At some childcare centers, quality of meals is poor, and menus inadequate in key vitamins and minerals (Niklas et al., 2002) </li></ul><ul><li>Preschool children may accept a novel vegetable after exposure to positive messages (Byrne and Nitzke, 2002) </li></ul>
    29. 36. Farm to Childcare: Current Programs
    30. 37. Early Sprouts
    31. 38. Farm to Preschool Pilot Program: Center for Food & Justice (UEPI) <ul><li>Key components: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Nutrition education for preschoolers and parents </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fresh food access from local farmers and farmers’ markets </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rigorous program evaluation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Multimodal outreach to communities, preschools, and parents in Los Angeles and throughout the country </li></ul></ul>
    32. 39. Farm to Preschool Pilot Program: Center for Food & Justice (UEPI) <ul><li>Project goals: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Facilitate a network exploring farm to preschool initiatives at the regional, state, and national level </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Expand and evaluate new farm to institution models </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Facilitate a demonstration site for hosting training workshops to interested preschools </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Enable continued healthy fresh food access to preschool families after project end </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Create a usable wellness policy for preschools </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ultimately reduce the prevalence of childhood obesity through early intervention </li></ul></ul>
    33. 40. From Our Farms
    34. 41. Growing a Green Generation
    35. 42. Portland, Oregon: Harvest of the Month and Local Lunch
    36. 43. Group Exercise: Differences between Farm to School in Pre-K and K-12 <ul><li>Discuss some the aspects that differentiate farm to school programs in pre-K vs. K-12 (challenges AND opportunities ) </li></ul>
    37. 44. Pre-K and K-12 Differences: Classroom <ul><li>More parental involvement in Head Start than K-12 </li></ul><ul><li>Head Start instructors may have limited educational background compared to K-12 </li></ul><ul><li>Instructors are often required to do home visits, thereby strengthening the home to school connection </li></ul><ul><li>Services are provided to Head Start parents (health and nutrition, parenting, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Some Head Start centers are home-based rather than centralized K-12 </li></ul><ul><li>Head Start classes usually smaller and have higher teacher to student ratio </li></ul><ul><li>Experiential instruction more widely used and accepted in Head Start </li></ul>
    38. 45. Pre-K and K-12 Differences: Food Procurement <ul><li>More regulations on what can be grown in children’s garden (Head Start) </li></ul><ul><li>Head Starts are a smaller market than K-12 for potential farmers </li></ul><ul><li>Ability for farmers and Head Start centers to establish closer relationship </li></ul><ul><li>May not have centralized distribution </li></ul><ul><li>No a la carte or choices </li></ul>
    39. 46. Practical Skills for Cultivating Farm to Childcare Programs
    40. 47. Farm to Childcare: Practical Skills <ul><li>Finding a partner </li></ul><ul><li>Goal setting and program design </li></ul><ul><li>Steps to make connections with local farmers and food processors </li></ul>
    41. 49. Farm to Childcare: Practical Skills Continued… <ul><li>Challenges: </li></ul><ul><li>More restrictions on what can be grown (night shades particularly not allowed – tomatoes, peppers, potatoes) </li></ul><ul><li>Physical outdoor environment more restricted </li></ul><ul><li>Establishing Head Start Gardens </li></ul>
    42. 50. Farm to Childcare: Practical Skills Continued… <ul><li>Establishing Head Start Gardens </li></ul><ul><li>Opportunities: </li></ul><ul><li>Of course, grow edibles! </li></ul><ul><li>Include a sand or soil box nearby (for kids that might not be tuned into the garden that day) </li></ul><ul><li>Plant with the senses in mind </li></ul><ul><li>Use lots of color </li></ul><ul><li>Consider planting fruit trees/bushes </li></ul><ul><li>Cook with what you grow or at least taste it </li></ul>
    43. 51. Farm to Childcare: Practical Skills Continued… <ul><li>Be a good role model – eat your veggies! </li></ul><ul><li>Invite the parents </li></ul><ul><li>Buy one of these </li></ul><ul><li>Experiential Nutrition Education </li></ul>
    44. 53. Farm to Childcare: Practical Skills Continued… <ul><li>Farm Field Trips: </li></ul><ul><li>Try to go to the farm that supplies the food to the Head Start center (if applicable) </li></ul><ul><li>Make sure you have access to bathrooms </li></ul><ul><li>Dress appropriately and come prepared (water, name tags, sunscreen) </li></ul><ul><li>Provide authentic experiences – let the children do something real, like plant or weed or harvest </li></ul><ul><li>Make an inclement weather plan </li></ul>
    45. 55. Farm to Childcare: Practical Skills Continued… <ul><li>Promoting complementary food- and garden-based education </li></ul><ul><li>Documenting and evaluating the project (Robinson-O’Brien et al., 2009; Joshi et al., 2008) </li></ul>
    46. 61. Thank you! Questions? <ul><li>Contact Information: </li></ul><ul><li>Emily Jackson: [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Stacey S. Williams: [email_address] </li></ul>