Celebrate Healthy Eating Family Send-Homes
The following are designed as send-home materials:

10 Tips for Hassle-Free Eating With Young Children - Be sure to review these tips for advice you can use.

The ABC's of Good Health - This section identifies the new dietary guidelines from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This is also useful information for guiding food and physical activity choices at school.

Family Nutrition News & Tips - These quick-read items focus on the importance of eating three vegetables and two fruits each day. There's both information and tips to support family mealtimes.

Kid Friendly Recipes - Adults and young children will find these recipes featuring fall fruits and vegetables easy to prepare.

Components With Family Extensions
Here are tips on sharing other program materials with families:

Using "From the Farm to You" Poster check here for suggestions on introducing the poster to family members.

I Can Eat Five A Day! Feature the song on this page in a monthly newsletter or other send-home from your program for a lively way to communicate the Five A Day message. When you do the game activity, send children's papers home.

All Apples Are Not Alike Post the group's "Our Favorite Apple" chart or graph where parents will see it. Encourage families to note the variety of apples or other fruit or vegetable products when grocery shopping.

Teaching Good Manners at Story Time - Recommend these books to families too.

Using the "From the Farm to You" Poster
You'll find many uses for this poster, which is both entertaining and instructional.

Talk About It

Display the poster at children's eye level, then gather your group to talk about what they see. Children may notice that the poster features a game. Explain that everyone will have a chance to play the game. Now, as a group, you want to talk about what the poster shows about how some foods go from the farm to children's tables at home or school.

Discuss the images on the poster. Help children understand that the sequence of steps from farm to table for both apples and squash is similar and represents the process that other fruits and vegetables follow. For example, apples grow on trees in an orchard. They are picked and may be sold as fresh apples by the farmer or at a produce market. Some apples go to a factory where they are made into applesauce, juice, jelly, pies, and other apple products. These foods go to the supermarket, where families can buy them, along with fresh apples, to eat at home. Then explain the steps for squash, which grows on a vine. In a factory, squash is canned or frozen. Pumpkins, which are a kind of squash, are made into canned pie filling or pumpkin pies that are ready to eat.

Talk about different workers who are part of this process: farmers, pickers, factory workers, truck drivers who transport fresh produce or processed foods to supermarkets, workers in grocery stores or at produce stands, and adults at home and school who prepare the foods.

Ask children to think of other fruits and vegetables that follow this same process from farm to table. Invite children to share their experiences with picking fresh fruits and vegetables or food shopping with family members, and their favorite ways to eat apples, squash, and other fruits and veggies.

Play Counting Games
Place the poster on a table or the floor to play the From the Farm to You! game. Make two sets of number cards from 1 to 5 and provide a playing piece for each player. One child or team takes the apples, one the squash. Players take turns drawing a number card and moving that many spaces. The first to get the fruit or vegetable from the farm to the child wins.

For a different counting experience, use the sets of objects and numerals from 1 to 10 that border the poster. Children can count the objects, use their fingers to trace over the numerals, and practice one-to-one correspondence using manipulatives, such as putting 1 small block on the "1" pumpkin. Children can also use pictures or plastic models of fruits and vegetables to show you sets of numbers.

Let's Investigate!
What's Inside? All Fruits and Vegetables Grow From Seeds

Display this PDF and discuss how all fruits and vegetables grow from seeds. Together, identify the pictures: an apple and apple seeds; pumpkin and pumpkin seeds; celery with seeds in the leaves at the top of the stalks; corn cob and its seeds, the kernels we eat; and the plum with its one big seed called a pit.

Guide children in comparing the seeds for size and shape. Which are big? Which are small? Which seeds can we eat? Which should we not eat? (any kind of pit). Point out that whatever their sizes or shapes, planting these seeds would grow more apples, pumpkins, celery, corn, and plums.

Talk about how seeds grow in the ground. Explain that seeds need sunshine, air, water, and nutrients in the soil to grow into the foods we eat.

As a follow-up activity, provide an assortment of real fruits and vegetables to examine for their seeds. Categorize the fruits and vegetables by those with big seeds, little seeds, tiny seeds, (smaller than small), and pits. Remove the seeds for children to look at close up. You can also use the three vegetables and two fruits on the card to reinforce the Five A Day recommendation.

Apple Salad Surprise!
As part of your tasting activities, invite children to try fresh apples in a salad they make themselves. Review the five pictures in the PDF. Point out that each explains a step in making a yummy salad with apples, celery, and seeds.

Have children wash their hands and then help wash the apples and celery. If appropriate, let them use plastic knives to help cut up the apples and celery into small pieces. Set out sunflower seeds-or substitute raisins-and low-fat vanilla yogurt, and you're ready to begin. Another time, vary the type of apple used and experiment with other ingredients, such as carrots instead of celery and peas instead of seeds or raisins.