Welcome to Nebraska Farm to Preschool
Mountain Plains CRUNCH OFF
Nebraska, let’s bite into local with a Mountain Plains Crunch Off competition!
Celebrate National Farm To School Month in October by signing on to join the Mountain Plains Crunch Off. Nebraska will compete against 8 other states in the region (CO, MT, MO, KS, UT, ND, SD, WY) to see which State will get the most “crunches” into a local apple, or other local produce, per capita. Register today, make plans to crunch into a local Nebraska fruit or vegetable, and help Nebraska take home the 2019 Crunch Off win! #MountianPlainsCrunch
Farm to Preschool (also referred to as Farm to Early Childhood Education) is an extension of the national Farm to School movement that started with school gardening and connecting farms/farming to schools.
Farm to Preschool includes early childhood programs encompassing preschools, Head Starts, child care centers, and day care homes serving garden or local foods, and providing hands-on nutrition educational activities such as:
- Field trips to farms, local markets, community gardens, and food co-ops
- Inviting guest to your facility – farmers, gardeners, chefs, etc.
- Food sensory exploration activities such as taste-testing, food art, or blind smelling tests
- Cooking with children
- Farm and garden toys and books
- Gardening with children
There are many benefits for children when they are involved in the gardening process. They learn about gardening, agriculture, and life skills. Children can be included with planning, planting, watering/weeding, and harvesting the garden. Fresh garden produce tastes better and data supports increased fruit and vegetable consumption in children who participate in gardening activities. Gardening also supports social and emotional growth.
Why Farm to Preschool?
- Supports development of healthy food patterns
- Early obesity prevention
- Better nutrition which is critical for development
- Children rely on caregivers for healthy food and active environment
- Hands-on activities can increase children’s willingness to try healthy foods
- Supports success local farmers and economies
- Young children behaviors can change family behaviors
Photo credit: usdagov
Win for Children
Children benefit from educational activities and eating healthier foods. Locally grown foods are generally fresher and riper when harvested so they taste better.
Photo credit: usdagov
Win for farmers
Local agriculture is supported. The more nearby farm products are consumed, the more money in the pockets of farmers.
Photo credit: Flicker -djjewelz
Win for Communities Purchasing nearby agricultural products keeps more money in the communities and builds stronger local economies.