Minnneapolis Farm to School BBQ

 

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Earlier this month, Anna and Eli set up our Veggie Grand Prix at the Minneapolis Public Schools BBQ, One of our favorite events of the year! We asked Children of all ages to name that vegetable before racing them down the speedway. With the help of a few eager 3rd graders, we built googly-eyed roadsters from common veggies like potato and zucchini and trickier ones like ginger and golden beets. We had veggie themed prizes for everyone! Families enjoyed delicious farm-to-table food, care of the MPS culinary program, with recipes created by their partners at local restaurants like Birchwood Cafe and Sen Yai Sen Lek. Well done, Minneapolis Public School's, for hosting a wonderful community event!

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Farm to Child Care: A Provider Spotlight 3

Interview with Candace

By Cassaundra Lewis March 13th, 2017

Candace has been taking care of children since her kids were babies, I believe that she’s been doing Farm to Child Care before it had a name. Self-sustainability, good nutritional food, teaching the fundamentals of gardening and preparing foods like apples and blueberries.

“How has the Farm to Child Care training made a difference?”

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Calling all Parents! Do you have picky eaters?

 As a parent of two wonderful children, I want what’s best for them. Sometimes, I don’t always know what to do. So, I take to the internet for some free advice, researching articles from credible sources, blogs from parents who are motivational and inspiring. Before I became a MN GreenCorps member, I had not heard of Farm to Child Care, but now that I have learned the ins and outs, I believe full-heartedly in this movement. Farm to Child Care connects children with where their food comes from and how it’s grown. F2CC encourages kids to get dirty in the garden and clean in the kitchen, learn about nutrition, and connect all these concepts with maths, science, art, music, and so much more. It also encourages child care providers and children’s families to learn best practices about healthy eating, like being a family-style eating and role-modelling.

 So, let's change the concern that a growing number of our kids are going to be obese and start them off with a healthy foundation.

 As a parent, you might ask, "I have a picky eater, what can I do?"; I have compiled numerous suggestions, followed by some examples that were found on the internet.

 

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Farm to Child Care: A Providers Spotlight 2

Interview with Hannah Riddle
By Cassaundra Lewis - February 20th, 2017


Hannah has been a trainer and a child care provider, currently, she works at a center where she is incorporating activities of Farm to Child Care with the kids that attend. She dreams of opening a program that encompasses the farm to table approach with a large garden for experiential learning.

“How has the Farm to Child Care training made a difference?”

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History of Farm to Child Care

Found on Flickr under CIFOR

Farm to Child Care (F2CC) is a nationwide movement connecting childcare providers and young children with local farmers for the purpose of providing healthy meals and snacks, as well as incorporating local food themes into childcare curriculum and activities. Local foods are determined by the consumer but usually refer to the same region, within a 100-mile radius, the state you live in, or some other combination. Local foods are fresher and have retained a great deal of their nutritional content, opposed to food that has traveled thousands of miles or been grown for the primary purpose of a long, beautiful shelf life. When children learn, they learn by example; through the curriculum, taste testing new foods and food preparation techniques, gardening, or farm visits. Providers, families, and educators can make a by step changes, and small modifications in what they're already doing, to include nutrition education and information about agriculture and kitchen skills into everyday activities. Whether food is purchased directly from farmers, farmers markets, Community Shared Agriculture (CSA), or picked from the garden in your own backyard, Farm to Child Care has the potential to help children learn healthy eating habits and participate in quality learning environments.

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Farm to Child Care: A Providers Spotlight

Farm to Child Care Provider Interview
with Stacy Boysen


By Cassaundra Lewis - February 20th, 2017

 

Stacy owns and runs her own Family Child Care Program with her husband. As a provider and a trainer, she has incorporated many aspects of Farm to Child Care over the years. I reached out to Stacy and asked if she wouldn’t mind sharing her journey, about her experiences of implementing Farm to Child Care into her own childcare.

“How has the Farm to Child Care training made a difference?”

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6 Tips For Affordable Healthy Local Food In Your Child Care

Can you envision access to healthy local foods for children under five? How about creating opportunities to learn the importance of nutrition and what healthy foods look like? Introducing children to healthy foods through Farm to Child Care activities and curriculum empowers them to cultivate a foundation of healthy eating behaviors. Knowing your farmer and how the food is grown is an important connection to what goes into your food. The key concept to note here: know what you are eating and transfer that knowledge to your children. Because kids are excited to learn where things come from, where they grow, how they grow, and what they taste like! Children are naturally inquisitive and they can ask upwards of 400 questions a day. That gives child care providers a unique advantage, they have the ability to empower children to eat healthier because children under five spend on average 30+ hours a week with a care provide; these ages are the most influential years of developing taste preferences. So let’s find out ways to connect these kids with affordable, healthy, local food.

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This Little Sprout House of mine.


(I’m going to let it shine!)

During the spring and summer, my kids participated in growing a garden; they loved sowing the seeds and watching the plants grow. It got me thinking, ‘How can we show kids the unique capabilities these little seeds have, to those who either don’t know about gardening or are interested in learning how things grow?’

I searched the internet for ideas and came upon....

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2016 Top Ten!

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Here it is - the Renewing the Countryside "End of Year Top 10 Review."

2016, by some accounts, is one to forget - However, we are rather proud of what we got accomplished and think you will be impressed too. From a successful fundraiser for a micro-loan fund for farmers (who can forget the amazing crew of "Mud Bucket Challenge" volunteers?) to the long list of partnering organizations who were instrumental in making this year a success.  Of course, we couldn't have done it without the support of you - our volunteers, friends, supporters, and donors.

Remember, this coming year, you don't have to wait until the end of the year to see what we've been doing at Renewing the Countryside! Just follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page to make sure you don't miss anything!
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Also, it is not too late to make a tax-deductible donation to Renewing the Countryside

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Renewing the Countryside Welcomes MN GreenCorps Member

Hi, my name is Cassaundra Lewis, and I was selected to become a member of the MN GreenCorps program for the 2016-2017 year. I will be serving with Renewing the Countryside on the Farm to Child Care and Education program. Farm to School (F2S) has been such a national success, that parents and providers of child care want to incorporate Farm to Child Care (F2CC) or Farm to Early Care. Educating kids with educational curriculum such as the Farm to Preschool Curriculum  by UEPI or the Farm to Child Care Curriculum by IATP. By using local farm fresh food from farmers, not only does it help kids by learning to eat healthier, it also helps the farmers locally. Helps reduce the environmental footprint. Helps to bring the community together. And helps to empower parents and their kids in healthy choices.

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