Cooking classes and Gardens are in full swing!

Although I am so sad I won’t get to see these kiddos anymore, my last day helping with Tot’s went awesome! The kids (full of energy as always!) identified foods that come from our locally grown plants as well as foods that come from animals. However, our relay race where the kids practiced categorizing “plant” foods vs. “animal” foods proved that some clarification is still needed! This being said, all of the kids successfully understood that fruits and veggies come from plants! We also pretended to crawl like our favorite animals, read a story, and made our own butter for snack. We shook up our jars of butter while dancing to Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off”–how fitting! Continue reading

Smoothies, Smoothies, Smoothies!

The Winneshiek County Fair is in full swing, and we could not have asked for a more beautiful week to host the fair’s fun festivities! The animals, shows, exhibits, races, and concerts are all a blast, but if you’re anything like me, you also go to the fair for one thing—the food! However, it’s no secret that the delicious greasy fair food we all love does not have much nutritional value. This week, Ashley Christensen, Laura Liechty, and myself brought healthy and delicious eating to the fair! Continue reading

July is upon us!

June has passed and July is here! What an awesome (and quick!) first month of summer it has been! Despite all of the unpredictable and crazy weather lately, both the North Winneshiek and Monona School Gardens I help out with are flourishing. It’s exciting to see rich beds of greens emerging. However, not all greens are pleasing—I’m referring of course to weeds. While plants are blooming, so too are the obnoxious weeds! I wish you all happy weeding in your own gardens! Continue reading

‘Tis the Season of Gardening!

What a crazy, fun-filled week it has been! Each week, a large portion of my time is dedicated to researching foods, recipes, and locating literacy resources and materials for preschool classrooms that have implemented Northeastern Iowa FFI’s Farm to Preschool Program. This program, an early childhood wellness and outreach strategy, introduces a new, locally grown food each month to students. I have been researching local foods, finding fun, easy, and healthy recipes for students (and their families), as well as tracking down books that talk about the foods preschoolers are learning.  It is refreshing and reassuring to see just how many creative and wonderful resources, recipes, and activities are available relating to healthy eating choices! Continue reading

Bring on the summer!

Hello readers of the Northeastern Iowa’s Food and Fitness Initiative blog! My name is Brynne Stellner and I am Luther College’s summer intern for the Food and Fitness Initiative of Northeastern Iowa. I am thrilled for this wonderful opportunity to work with area Early Childhood  programs, assist in area garden clubs, and become involved  in the numerous aspects of FFI that strive to incluther basketballrease healthy, locally grown foods and encourage active living opportunities around Northeastern Iowa! Continue reading