Fresh Snacks for Childcare

As part of the Northeast Iowa Food and Fitness Initiative, the Iowa Food Hub and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, Region 4, have teamed up with three early childcare centers on an exciting new pilot project to bring NE Iowa’s children more fresh, local veggies and fruit.

The three sites participating in the Fresh Local Snack pilot project, which  launched August 21, are NICC Child Development Center in Calmar, Rainbowland Preschool and Daycare in Fayette, and Waukon West Preschool & Waukon Headstart.

From August 21- December 4, the Iowa Food Hub will deliver a fresh, local snack once a week to the sites. Teachers will serve the snacks and report on what fresh fruit and veggie items work best in the classroom. Iowa State Extension and Outreach will help evaluate the results and see if the program can be continued and expanded in the future.

Made possible by a grant from the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, this project will bring healthy snacks to kids while supporting local farmers growing fruit and veggies in the region.

Are you are a parent with a child participating at one of the three sites? You can help by encouraging your student to be a good taste-tester who is willing to try new things!

The planned calendar of snacks is below, subject to change if weather alters availability from local farms:
Week     Snack
Aug. 21     Tasty Cucumbers
Aug. 28     (Skip)
Sept 4.     Super Star Summer Squash
Sept. 11     Great Green Peppers
Sept. 18     Crazy Kohlrabi
Sept. 25     (To Be Determined)
Oct. 2     Cool Colorful Peppers
Oct. 9     Broccoli Trees
Oct. 16     Super Carrot Sticks
Oct. 23     Rockin’ Radishes
Oct. 30     Crunchy Cabbage
Nov. 6     Beautiful Beets
Nov. 13     Awesome Apples
Nov. 27     Super Carrot Sticks
Dec. 4     Beauty Heart Sticks

From farmers, to teachers, to staff at Extension and the Iowa Food Hub, we’re all excited to be involved in this project! We’re looking forward to trying healthy, local, and tasty snacks with our youth, learning what works, and sharing the results.