Harvest for Healthy Kids Project: Helping Low-Income Families Eat Better
Good nutrition is important for all of us, but it’s especially important for children to get them off to a good start in life.
The Head Start program was launched in 1965 to promote school preparation by enhancing the social and cognitive development of children through the provision of educational, health, nutritional, social, and other services. Low-income families receive services for their preschool aged children that can include education and childcare, with healthy snacks and meals for the kids.
However, once the kids go home, their families don’t necessarily have the resources to provide healthy foods at home. The Harvest for Healthy Kids project was started to fill the gap.
Harvest for Healthy Kids was inspired by farm to school programs that have popped up around the country in recent years. The kids not only get to eat fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables, they also participate in activities focused on a featured food.
Activities might include reading books about the featured food, coloring pages, gardening, and planting. The children are invited to participate in the preparation of their snacks.
The program started off with funding from Kaiser Permanente, but is now being fund by a three-year grant from the Meyer Memorial Trust. With funding secure, the program will now be used to reach low-income pregnant women and children up to three years old.
Exposing children to fresh fruits and vegetables early in life can start good habits for life.
Vegetable platter photo via Shutterstock