Farm to Preschool
Farm to Preschool or Farm to Early Care Education is an extension of the national Farm to School Network that started with school gardening and connecting farms/farming to schools.
Farm to Preschool includes early childhood programs encompassing preschools, Head Start programs, child care centers, and home care centers serving garden or local foods, and providing hands-on nutrition educational activities such as:
- Field trips to farms, local markets, community gardens, and food co-ops
- Inviting guests to your facility – farmers, gardeners, chefs, etc.
- Food sensory exploration activities such as taste-testing, food art, or blind smelling tests
- Cooking with children
- Farm and garden toys and books
- Ag in the Classroom activities
- 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 Preschool?
- Supports development of healthy food patterns
- Early obesity prevention
- Better nutrition which is critical for development
- Children rely on caregivers for healthy food and active environment
- Hands-on activities can increase children’s willingness to try healthy foods
- Supports success local farmers and economies