Nebraska Farm to Preschool Toolkit
- Farm to Preschool Fact Sheet: Farm to Preschool – Local Food and Learning in Early Child Care and Education Settings
- What is Farm to Preschool: http://www.farmtopreschool.org/whatisfarmtopreschool.html
- Getting Started With Farm to Preschool: Getting Started with Farm to Preschool
- Getting Started with Farm to Early Childhood Education: https://www.farmtoschool.org/our-work/early-care-and-education
- Farm to Early Childhood Programs; A Step-By-Step Guide: http://foodsystems.msu.edu/uploads/files/Farm_to_Early_Childhood_Guide_2015_Feb.pdf
- Grant Funding Available: http://www.fns.usda.gov/farmtoschool/farm-school-grant-program
- Find Farmer’s Markets/Produce Vendors near you (Nebraska Farmer’s Markets/Produce Vendor Search): https://www.nebraska.gov/apps-ag-farmers-market/
- Nebraska Food Cooperative: https://www.nebraskafood.org/
- Where Can I buy Drinks and Food that is Nebraskan (Nebraska Access): http://nebraskaccess.ne.gov/nebraskafoods.asp
- Food and Meat Directory (Nebraska Department of Agriculture): http://www.nda.nebraska.gov/publications/promotion/food_meat_directory.html
- Local Procurement for Family Child Care Providers: https://www.farmtoschool.org/resources-main/farm-to-early-care-and-education-local-food-purchasing-resources
- Procuring Local Foods for Child Nutrition Programs: https://www.education.ne.gov/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Buying-Local-Guide_FINAL_August-2015.pdf
- Nebraska Produce Availability: Resource Seasonality Crop Extension Storage Guide
- Find a Farmers Market or Produce Vendor: https://www.nebraska.gov/apps-ag-farmers-market/
- Seasonal Produce Guide (USDA): https://snaped.fns.usda.gov/nutrition-through-seasons/seasonal-produce
- Seasonal Food Guide by State: https://www.seasonalfoodguide.org/
Produce Pick Spotlight – Melons are in season in Nebraska July through September and are also featured in the Nebraska Harvest of the Month curriculum.
Fun Facts about melons: Did you know? …
- Melons are a good source of vitamins A, B6, C, and potassium.
- Cantaloupes have more beta-carotene than oranges, a powerful antioxidant for eye health, strong immune system, healthy skin, and form mucous membranes.
- Watermelon is rich in lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that helps prevent cell damage.
- Melons have high water content and potassium that helps maintain healthy blood pressure.
- Watermelon’s name come from the fact they are 92% water.
- There are over 1,200 varieties of watermelons that are sorted into four categories: seeded, seedless, icebox, and yellow/orange.
- Melons are part of the Gourd family which includes squashes and cucumbers.
- Melons originate from Africa and southwestern parts of Asia.
- Melons are low in calories: Cantaloupe 53 calories per cup, honeydew 61 calories per cup, and watermelon 46 calories per cup.
You can store whole melons room temperature uncut but if they were refrigerated when purchased then keep them cold. Before slicing, scrub the outside of the melon with a clean vegetable bush and cool water. Dry off with paper towels. Served sliced, cubed or try a new recipe featured below.
How to choose a Watermelon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=Tl3Je6PHt8s
Harvest of the Month is a statewide school program that features a different Nebraska specialty crop each month. Melons are featured in September. The program promotes sourcing local produce and provides many resources that can be used in early childhood settings as well. There are coloring pages, taste testing activities, posters, trivia cards, and take-home newsletters to download free. Check it out on the link above!
Produce Pick Spotlight Recipes and Serving Ideas
Melon and Mint (USDA My Plate)
Cantaloupe Cooler (USDA My Plate)
Watermelon Pizza alla Italia
Watermelons Dippers with Honey Vanilla Yogurt Sauce
Watermelon Blueberry Sparklers
Cilantro-Lime Grilled Watermelon
Weekly Menus/Sample Menus
- Grow It, Try It, Like It! Nutrition Educational Tool Kit (Team Nutrition Resource Library):https://pueblo.gpo.gov/TN/TNPubs.php?PubID=15038 Or download available: https://www.fns.usda.gov/tn/grow-it-homes
- National Farm to Preschool Network – Curricula: http://www.farmtopreschool.org/curricula.html
- Safety in the Little Gardener’s Garden: https://learningstore.uwex.edu/Assets/pdfs/A3905-07.pdf
- ASAP Growing Minds a program of Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project: https://growing-minds.org/farm-to-preschool/
- A Guide to using the Creative Curriculum for Preschool to Support Farm-to-ECE Models: https://www.farmtoschool.org/resources-main/a-guide-to-using-the-creative-curriculum-to-support-farm-to-ece-models
- Nebraska Department of Agriculture Kids page: http://www.nda.nebraska.gov/kids/index.html
- Harvest for Healthy Kids- Free Activity Kits: http://www.harvestforhealthykids.org/?page_id=291
- Farm to Preschool on Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/janamarie76/farm-preschool-theme/
Taste Test Activities
- Farm to Preschool Harvest of the Month Curriculum: (Materials provided by the Center for Food & Justice- UEPI Occidental College Materials modified by permission from the Network for a Healthy California-Merced County Office of Education) http://www.farmtopreschool.org/documents/F2P%20Curriculum.pdf
- Local Foods in CACFP Policy Memo: http://www.fns.usda.gov/sites/default/files/f2s/CACFP11_2015_Local%20Foods%20in%20CACFP_03%2013%202015.pdf
- USDA – Community Food Systems: https://www.fns.usda.gov/cfs
- National Farm to School Network – Farm to Preschool Advocacy: http://www.farmtoschool.org/policy
- USDA Child and Adult Care Food Program: Meal Pattern Revisions Related to the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 Final Rule: https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2016/04/25/2016-09412/child-and-adult-care-food-program-meal-pattern-revisions-related-to-the-healthy-hunger-free-kids-act
- National Farm to School Network: https://www.farmtoschool.org/our-work/early-care-and-education
- Farm to Preschool: Local Food and Learning in Early Child Care and Education Setting: https://www.fns.usda.gov/cfs/farm-to-preschool
- Center for Rural Affairs Farm to School: http://www.cfra.org/f2s
- USDA FSN Community Food Systems: http://www.fns.usda.gov/farmtoschool/farm-school
- Nebraska Agriculture: http://www.nda.nebraska.gov/publications/ne_ag_facts_brochure.pdf
- For more information on the benefits of Farm to School: http://www.farmtoschool.org/Resources/BenefitsFactSheet.pdf
- University of Nebraska Lincoln, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources: UNL Foods: https://food.unl.edu/
- The Dirt: Farm to Preschool e-letter: https://www.fns.usda.gov/cfs/e-letter-archive