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Seasonal Lesson Plan for Preschoolers With Local Produce

Nov 21, 2019    |   FallHealthy Snacks & RecipesWinter

It’s the season of holiday celebrations and tasty food! What better way to celebrate than by visiting local farms or farmers markets to enjoy fresh, local, seasonal produce? Buying local produce and sharing the food with children creates an opportunity to discuss local farming, how things grow, and the importance of fresh, nutritious food.

The Bay Area offers a variety of locally grown produce, especially during the fall and winter, including persimmons, pumpkins, and even chestnuts! Palo Alto Online recently shared an article with information about a local chestnut farm located in San Mateo County. Skyline Chestnuts in La Honda is open Wednesday through Sunday for visitors to hand-pick their own chestnuts.

Fresh Produce in the Classroom

Many children will not have seen freshly picked chestnuts before, and bringing them into the classroom can create a fun learning opportunity. While peeling the chestnuts might be  tricky for small fingers, you can demonstrate how cooked chestnuts are peeled, or cook half of the chestnuts and leave half raw so that children can compare the difference and notice how the food changed after it was cooked. Bring out the magnifying glasses so that children can look closely and investigate!

Other seasonal produce in Fall and Winter include persimmons, pumpkins, pomegranates, citrus, and squash. Each of these fruits can be brought into the classroom for an investigation and maybe even a taste test. Children can guess what the inside will look like before the fruits and veggies are cut open. Then once they have been sliced in half, children can use their senses to look at, touch, smell, and taste the seasonal produce as an opportunity to try some fruits and veggies that they might not have experienced before.

Bringing local produce into the classroom will likely spark conversations about where the fruits and veggies come from and how they grow. Books such as How Does My Garden Grow?, Plant the Tiny Seed, and We are the Gardeners are fun stories to add to the conversation.

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