Monday, April 17, 2017

Farm to Kids

Ele Watts
WSDA Regional Markets

What if you could improve a person’s health for their lifetime through early education and positive experiences with healthy eating? At WSDA, our Regional Markets Team is promoting Farm to Early Care and Education (ECE) to make that vision a reality.

Attendees making salad with Washington grown produce.
Farm to ECE has three main components:

  • Education
  • Experiential learning
  • Local food procurement

Farm to ECE enhances life-long health and wellness of children, their families and caregivers by exposing them to positive food experiences and improving access to local, healthy foods.

During the last week in March, WSDA hosted a series of workshops for childcare and early education providers across the state. The workshops provided in-depth, hands-on training on Harvest for Healthy Kids, an innovative free curriculum for young children focused on fruits and vegetables which includes:
Harvest to Healthy Kids trainer conducts interactive workshop.

  • lesson plans
  • activities
  • recipes
  • vocabulary lists
  • family newsletters
  • art projects 

Attendees learned songs about berries; learned to prepare a simple cabbage, apple, and carrot salad and discussed age-appropriate food exploration activities for children from birth to five years old. The workshop also included training on how to purchase and use Washington grown fruits and vegetables from local food outlets (i.e. farmers markets and food hubs) in early learning facilities.

The workshops were a collaboration between WSDA, the Washington State Department of Early Learning, and trainers from the Mount Hood Community College Head Start and Early Head Start Programs and was funded through a Specialty Crop Block Grant. For more information about Farm to ECE, contact Ele Watts.