In my 4 visits with the Waukon Head Start classrooms, I’ve been excited about what Sandy and the other teachers in Waukon A have been doing with foods of the month. Our first food was apples, and Sandy had several apple worksheets for the kids, and had apple seeds for them to explore, and perhaps plant. After my cauliflower visit, she found a couple of YouTube videos on cauliflower, and had the kids watch them as they danced around to the music. There was a big poster of different colors of cauliflower on the door to the classroom, as well as the F2ECE cauliflower slick.
Sandy bought a large variety of winter squash for display and exploration in November. She had a poster with different pictures of squash and together we found and labeled all of the squash she had based on pictures on the poster. She had gotten them all from a local farmer’s market as well, and was proud of that–supporting a local farmer.
In December, Sandy was interested in where I bought my bag of tiny multi-colored potatoes, and seemed excited about going to find some more for the class. She is always ready to share a story or information with the kids.
All of the teachers in Waukon A are interested in talking to the kids about how the foods are grown as well. That’s such a big part of learning about new foods; knowing that they come from a farm, not just appearing at the store, so the kids are learning that aspect from us as well as the teachers. I also really appreciate their enthusiasm in trying the foods that I bring in for a taste test. Some of the kids aren’t as enthusiastic, so seeing the teachers trying unfamiliar foods is a great example.
I know that the kids aren’t only exposed to new foods from my visits, and that repetition is key in making a few or different food less different. Overall, I’ve been impressed with the involvement and interest in the foods of the month and our work with F2ECE that Waukon A has shown!
Author: Hallie Evans, NE IA Food & Fitness Early Childhood F2ECE Associate