The free, online, self-paced, interactive program was created to help early childcare educators, foodservice staff, volunteers and parents understand the importance of reducing the risk of food safety related to fresh fruits and vegetables for young children. The program includes five units: Farm to Preschool Benefits, Fresh Produce and Foodborne Illness Risks, Food Safety Basics for the Classroom and the Kitchen, Food Safety and Gardening Activities, and Food Safety on Field Trips to Farms and Farmers’ Market. Printable resources such as Best Practices Planning Tools, resources, and Certificates of Completion are available and may be able to be used towards Professional Development requirements. For more information on the program, visit Food Safety Farm to Garden Preschool website
The in-person workshop is available to early childcare centers in Massachusetts and New Hampshire beginning summer 2014. The in-person program covers the same components as the online program with an emphasis on participant discussion. Arrangements for the in-person workshop can be made by contacting Cathy Wickham at email@example.com.
This program is a collaborative effort between the University of Massachusetts, Department of Nutrition and University of New Hampshire, Cooperative Extension, with an advisory committee comprised of members from state education and agricultural organizations as well as early childcare educators and foodservice directors. This project is supported by The National Integrated Food Safety Initiative (NIFSI) Competitive Grant Program from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Award 2011-51110-30996.