December 6, 2019

"What to do for the families in our care???"

No matter what holiday you or your families celebrate, we all want to show our appreciation by giving.

Families are busy and stressed by all the demands of the holidays and they start turning to fast foods for convenience.  I like to share a little comfort and joy by having the kids “make dinner” for their family. The kids take pride in telling their parents that they “cooked” dinner for them.  I usually make...

November 6, 2019

A note about the author, Haleisa Johnson is the Early Childhood Coordinator with Northeast Iowa Food and Fitness. 

Since being the NE Iowa Food & Fitness Coordinator, I have heard children described as "picky eaters," "fussy eaters," "finicky eaters" and "persnickety eaters."

Teachers, daycare providers, and parents continuously ask me, "How can I get children to taste new foods or eat better?" They tell me kids say vegetables are ‘icky’ or ‘gross.' The...

October 17, 2019

When asked the question, “Have you heard of Farm to ECE?” many will say no. Maybe it’s the formal name or the acronym “ECE?” Whatever it is, if you’re working with young children, I am willing to bet you practice some form of Farm to ECE in your setting and don’t realize it. 

One of the most common Farm to ECE activities this time of year is the annual field trip to the apple orchard or pumpkin patch. Picking apples from trees or seeing fields of pumpk...

September 22, 2019

It's fall, and do you know what that means?! It's apple orchard season! If you've been thinking about how to introduce local foods into your child care program or own household, here is your opportunity. First, purchase local apples from your nearest apple orchard. You can make a day of it by picking your own and partaking in some of the other attractions on site (if applicable), buying from a farm stand or market, or purchasing from a retail store th...

August 25, 2019

A note about the author: Kaye Lindsley is a Montessori preschool teacher and Summer Programs Assistant Coordinator at Willowwind School in Iowa City, IA.

Did you know you can grow carrots INSIDE? You need the correct set up, but it is certainly possible! Just ask my preschoolers at Willowwind School

First, you need the right kind of carrot - Tonda di Parigi carrots, to be specific. They are somewhere between the size of a cherry tomato and a radish. I...

August 6, 2019

Ask someone to tell you their favorite thing about the Iowa State Fair.  I’ll bet my grandstand tickets that the answer you get includes something edible.  Probably on a stick.  

It’s true that corn dogs draw the masses.  But this eleven day foodfest is truly a fantastic celebration of Iowa’s people and the state’s rich agricultural heritage.  An Iowa State Fair ticket is an invitation to experience and to learn.  

Did you...

July 28, 2019

A note about the author: Rick Roghair is the Professional Development Manager for the Iowa Association for the Education of Young Children. 

The Iowa Core Knowledge of Child Development assists every adult with ideas, no matter who they are or how they connect in a positive way with children from birth to age five. 

As a Farm to ECE provider, you understand this piece more than most. You know that balanced nutrition and physical activity help set t...

The kitchen probably has to be one of the most favorite places for children to play – but they can also learn a lot, too! It is a natural place for young children to take steps toward independence in concrete, fun, and creative ways. By providing a few items within their grasp and reviewing safety, you are setting them up for success! 

Every child has a huge capability of learning and they can surprise us a lot if we just trust and allow them to be ind...

July 2, 2019

A note about the author: Audrey Tran Lam, MPH is the Environmental Health Program Manager at the Center for Energy & Environmental Education at the University of Northern Iowa.  

There’s something about being in the public health field that makes you want to talk to everybody about smoking. Inevitably, I will have at least one conversation about smoking cessation campaigns with every new public health practitioner I meet (either that or cholera, but th...

June 30, 2019

By: Mrs. Peanuckle

Illustrations: Jessie Ford

Over a year ago, I was at a Farm to Early Care and Education conference and won the book ‘Mrs. Peanuckle’s Vegetable Alphabet.' I won the book for participating in a cooking contest with the challenge of making a kid-friendly kale hummus.  The hummus conquered the judges' taste buds, thus I received the book. Board books and vegetables are both favorites of mine so it was a great prize....

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