What Does Farm to Preschool mean in South Carolina?
By Anna Hartrampf, MPH
There is nothing quite like the taste of a juicy, South Carolina grown peach in the summer or fresh, South Carolina grown collards in the winter. Enjoying locally grown fruits and vegetables is an experience SC Farm to Preschool wants to share with South Carolina’s youngest eaters.
SC Farm to Preschool
Farm to Preschool is a national movement that connects child care settings to local food growers for the purpose of serving locally-grown, healthy foods to young children, improving child nutrition, and providing related educational activities. SC Farm to Preschool is a voluntary program for child care providers.
By participating in the SC Farm to Preschool program, child care centers agree to:
- Increase the amount of South Carolina grown fruits and vegetables purchased for use in their child care program
- Serve and promote SC Grown fruits and vegetables as part of the children’s meals and/or snacks through taste testing and menu planning
- Provide nutrition and/or agriculture education both in and out of the classroom setting
- Establish or maintain an on-site vegetable garden
Exposure to a variety of healthy foods during a child’s early years can lay the foundation for a lifetime of healthy eating habits. SC Farm to Preschool expands access to locally grown, fresh fruits and vegetables for children in child care. SC Farm to Preschool also provides young children with opportunities for hands-on learning activities such as taste tests, farm field trips, cooking lessons, and gardening. Participating in the program also empowers child care providers to make informed food choices for the children they serve while strengthening the local economy and contributing to vibrant communities.
How you can support SC Farm to Preschool
- Ask and offer. Ask your child’s child care provider if they participate in the SC Farm to Preschool program. If they are not familiar with the program, share your knowledge of SC Farm to Preschool and encourage the provider to consider participating. Offer your assistance to establish a garden on site using the steps in our SC Garden Toolkit or identify a farmer on our Farmer Profile Page to come talk to the child care center.
- Promote local at home. Parents, family members, and caregivers are important partners in establishing healthy early childhood eating habits. SC Farm to Preschool encourages parents to consider purchasing locally grown produce and supporting local farms. Find out where to buy, how to store, and ways to prepare SC Grown produce on our website. Get children involved with preparing a family meal by using tips on our SC Farm to Preschool Cooking Abilities Guide or encourage young children to explore gardening using our Kids in the Garden Handout.
For more information please contact:
Anna Hartrampf, MPH
SC Farm to Institution Program Coordinator
Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, & Obesity
South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control
P: (803) 898-1620 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit abcquality.org to learn more about child care and development, search for a child care provider and learn about the state’s voluntary quality rating system. ABC Quality is administered by the SC Department of Social Services’ Division of Early Care and Education.
By Anna Hartrampf MPH on October 24, 2017