Nebraska Farm to Early Care & Education
Farm to Early Care & Education is an extension of the national Farm to School movement that started with school gardening and connecting farms/farming to schools. Farm to Early Care & Education 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, taste-testing, cooking and 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 Early Care & Education?
It helps young children to develop healthy food patterns which can lead to better overall health as they age. Daily fruits and vegetables are essential for good nutrition, healthy growth, and proper brain development. Research shows children who consume fresh, locally-grown fruits and vegetables, harvested when fully ripe, eat more of them. It also supports early obesity prevention. Children in early care rely on care givers to provide healthy food and an active environment. Farm to Early Care and Education helps children and families eat healthier, supports local farmers, and keeps more dollars in local economies.
Registration is now open for the 2023 Nebraska Crunch Off!
Visit the Nebraska Crunch Off page to find 2023 Crunch Off resources (like the one below) and register!
Congratulations, Nebraska, for winning the Crunch off Championships for the 4th year in a row!
Congratulations, Nebraska, for winning the 2022 Crunch off Championships for the 4th year in a row! Help us win another championship and register for the 2023 Crunch Off during the month of October.
Harvest of the Month Early Care and Education Mini-Grant Awards
Congratulations to the 34 Early Care and Education Sites awarded with the Harvest of the Month Early Care and Education Pilot 2023 Mini-Grants. Onboarding in October 2023, these sites will pilot Harvest of the Month materials adapted and created for an Early Care and Education audience. Promoting, educating on, and offering taste tests of Nebraska specialty crops along the way. Their efforts will influence future Farm to Early Care and Education efforts statewide.
Questions? Contact Sarah Meyer at firstname.lastname@example.org