Healthy Children - June 2018

 From Farm-to-Child Care

Since I was a little girl, the farm has always been so interesting to me! Many of us have heard the nursery rhyme: “Old MacDonald had a farm, EE-I-EE-I-O, and on that farm he had a [cow], EE-I-EE-I-O…” Even now, this nursery rhyme is ringing in my ears. So how can be connecting the farm to child care? Answer: through the foods that are found on the farm.

It is so important for children to understand the origin of food. It is also important for children to see where their foods are grown, so that they can appreciate them more. The Farm-to-Child Care initiative connects local food producers and processors with early care and education sites. The goal is for these child care sites to purchase healthy local foods to be served in meals or/and snacks.

One of the many advantages of receiving food from the farm is the increased consumption of fresh produce within the early care setting. Another advantage is that it helps shape the taste preferences of the children at a young age. Both these behaviors aid in decreasing childhood obesity.

So take the time out this summer and invest in outdoor food experiences with your children. Take them to the farmer’s market. Take them to a garden. Conduct a food experience with the children with freshly grown produce and let them get involved. Children will soon learn, not only can cows, be found at the farm, but spinach, yams, and potatoes too!