Healthy Sprouts Highlight #4: Food Education
- on November 14, 2013
Just a generation ago, people in our country were much more connected to their food source. In our conversations with people about growing food, most of them have not so distant memories of their parents’ or grandparents’ large garden. Many people were even raised on farms, especially here in the Midwest. Unfortunately, a few societal factors have created a gap in understanding where one’s food originates. Our culture of convenience means that many children think that their food comes from the second window of the drive through. This disconnection is one of the reasons that both children and adults are wary of eating fresh fruits and vegetables. That’s why Healthy Sprouts includes food education for young children, their early educators and families.
We developed an age-appropriate food-based curriculum called Root for Food that is implemented in our participants’ child care settings. The curriculum includes everything about food from plant science to foods around the world and cooking with kids. It is always a joy to make site visits and help early educators prepare a garden pizza, fruit smoothie or salad with the children. One provider commented on her experience saying, “The curriculum as a whole has me thinking more about food sources and nutrition. As I make changes based on the curriculum, it positively influences the diets of the children and their experiences with food and eating.” We also realize that in order to be effective at teaching children these concepts, early educators need to supplement their own knowledge. We offer early educator trainings on topics such as gardening, sourcing and preparing local foods, emotions and eating, and cooking with young children. Our Weekly Harvest newsletter encourages families to be involved as well. The newsletter includes an update on what children are learning through the curriculum, a local food news story, an in-season recipe, and a take-home activity to do with their child. Together, we are learning about, growing, preparing and eating healthy foods through Healthy Sprouts education.
Please donate to support the continuation of this program: http://igg.me/at/healthysprouts/x/4869815