Georgia Farm to Preschool
Farm to Preschool is a new initiative that grew out of the Farm to School movement and encompasses a wide range of programs and activities. It strives to encourage young children to like eating fresh fruits and vegetables while their preferences are still forming. It also encourages healthy choices in children throughout their lives by offering experiences with good nutrition and hands-on education through cooking and gardening. Farm to Preschool also improves access to healthy food at home and in the community.
Farm to Preschool Programs Include:
- Edible School Gardens
- Cooking with Kids
- Taste Tests
- Farm Field Trips
- Nutrition Education
- Involving Parents and the Community
For a quick overview of Farm to Preschool, check out this one-pager from the National Farm to Preschool Network.
For any questions that aren’t answered below, check out this Farm to Preschool FAQ from Bright from the Start: Georgia Dept. of Early Care and Learning.
Improving Early Care Obesity Prevention through the Child and Adult Care Food Program profiles child care programs across the country that are using CACFP to improve the nutrition quality of meals and snacks. NEW!
- Grow It, Try It, Like It! Preschool Fun with Fruits and Vegetables is a free curriculum resource from USDA’s Team Nutrition. It is a garden-themed nutrition education kit for child care center staff that introduces children to three fruits (peaches, strawberries, and cantaloupe) and three vegetables (spinach, sweet potatoes, and crookneck squash).
- Eat Well Play Hard in Child Care Settings, from the New York Department of Health, is a downloadable nutrition and physical activity curriculum.
- Harvest of the Month includes activities for children three years through prekindergarten, as well as curriculum for K-12 students.
- The Preschool Initiative: Building a Healthy Foundation for Life covers a lot of farm to preschool concepts, including ideas for teaching nutrition and physical activity.
- Let’s Move! Childcare includes curriculum and other resources to support healthy changes in early care centers.
- These lesson plans from Growing Minds are for preschool through 2nd grade, and many feature specific seasonal fruits and veggies.
Edible School Gardens
- VIDEO: Using the Garden as an Educational Tool
- VIDEO: Building a Garden for Peschoolers
- This great guide will show you how to start a preschool garden.
- Planting Guidelines from Bright from the Start. The plants on this list are NOT restricted. Rather, they are plants to be mindful of if you do choose to grow them. Some listed plants (i.e.: tomatoes and potatoes) ARE edible. However, certain parts of the plant could be harmful if swallowed. Using gardens to teaching children where food comes from and what parts of the plant to eat is important!
Cooking with Kids
- VIDEO: Cooking with Preschoolers
- VIDEO: Seasonal Snacks for Preschoolers
- Find a chef in your area who will visit your center here.
Local Food Procurement
- VIDEO: Local Food Procurement in Child Care Centers
- Check out these tips for getting started in local food procurement.
- Find a local farm to connect with here.
- Find out if your public school district is purchasing local food by checking out this list. Contact the district school nutrition director to share resources!
- Check out this assessment of local food delivery models from a program in Washington. It includes several types of delivery models, their successes and challenges, and considerations for future efforts.